New Delhi: An India-Pakistan clash can never be called a dead rubber, stressed former skipper Sunil Gavaskar, as the arch-rivals gear up for their next Champions Trophy match, the outcome of which will have no bearing on their fortunes in the tournament.
India have already made it to the semifinals and Pakistan are certain to fly back, having lost their first two matches.
"No such thing as dead rubber when India and Pakistan are playing. Results are important for followers of both the countries," Gavaskar said.
"India would certainly want to win as they would to continue with the winning rhythm. If you lose, you start to doubt yourself and India would want to avoid it," he said in an interview.
Gavaskar said it was all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja with his bowling, who set up India`s thumping eight-wicket victory over West Indies yesterday.
"Jadeja turned the match in India`s favour. West Indies were looking set for a score of 250+ and even 300. He turned the match with his bowling on a pitch that didn`t have much help," he said of Jadeja who took his maiden five-wicket haul.
Praising the Delhi opener Shikhar Dhawan, Gavaskar said the heartening thing about him is he is making his good form count by scoring huge runs.
"He (Dhawan) was left out of the team which has helped him reorganise his cricket and get better. He is in very good form and the good thing is he is capitalising on it," he said.
India`s opening pair have provided the team with century stands in the two matches of the tournament and Gavaskar felt there was no need to change the combination in the final group match, given they are already through to the semis.
"They (India) would certainly want to continue with their opening combination as they have given brisk starts so far. They have played orthodox cricketing shots. The thing that has stood out about them is their running between the wickets."
Gavaskar also praised India`s fielding in the competition saying the team is at par with South Africa, Australia and New Zealand as there was no weak link.
On Rohit Sharma, Gavaskar felt that he needs to convert his half-centuries into big score if he wants to get into the Indian Test team.
"This could well the turning point for his (Rohit`s) career. The way he is playing he is certainly knocking at the doors of the Test side. But he will have to start converting scores of 50s and 60s into 100s for that," he added.