With just two days to go before the all-important clash between the arch-rivals, Indian captain MS Dhoni has highlighted the toss of the coin as being a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the series. Dhoni suggested that the two teams were evenly matched, hence it was vital to gain an early advantage by winning the toss.
"Winning the toss will be crucial because dew may have an impact. If you see both the sides, they are quite same. Their ability to play spinners is quite same. I think it will be nice couple of games," he said after the last-ball defeat to England in the second T20I.
Fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the start of this series, but MS Dhoni played down the hype, pointing out that every India series is important, and that the players were used to the pressure. "Tell me one series which is not big for us" he said. "Whether we play England, Pakistan, Australia or any other series. For us it is all the same."
"That is how we look at it and don't really look into who we are playing because that can only increase the pressure. We keep it very simple, whoever the opposition is. We look at the format and try to execute our plans."
India have recently completed a grueling four-match test series against England, and will compete in the ODI series against them in the New Year, immediately after the Pakistan tour. Dhoni advised his players that if the non-stop cricket schedule was taking its toll on anyone, they need to tell the BCCI to avoid injuries. "As an individual, if you feel that playing a series or the next few games you may get injured, which may take you out of the game for six to eight weeks, then it is better off to tell BCCI that you need some rest because you won't be available if you play a few games so it's crucial."
"I am not worried about too many series happening because I am someone who loves to play cricket. Maybe a few years from the other end will be shortened because of the amount of cricket we play.
"But it is a good thing because you are always playing the best bowlers in the world and the momentum keeps you going. I am not worried about too many games."
Bangalore hosts the first T20I between India and Pakistan on Christmas Day, before the sides move on to Ahmedabad for the final T20I on 28 December. The ODI series commences two days later in Chennai, followed by two more games, in Kolkata on 3 January and in Delhi on 6 January.