Hardik PandyaReuters

India is performing quite well in their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign and just ahead of their clash with New Zealand, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya stated, in a sarcastic vein, that there is no pressure on the Indian team as 'only' 1.5 billion Indians are expecting the men in blue to lift the coveted trophy.

He jokingly gave the statement in an interview with the International Cricket Council (ICC). The 25 year old cricketer said, "No pressure because only, maybe, 1.5 billion people are expecting that, so no pressure at all."

He expressed his desire to lift the coveted trophy on July 14 at Lords. According to him, playing India is his 'life' and it 'means everything' to him. "Playing for India means everything to me, this is my life. I am someone who plays the game with love and passion and loves challenges. For two-three years, I have been preparing for this (World Cup) so the time has come," the Mumbai Indians star told ICC.

World Cup Logo

Pandya mentioned that he cherishes his memories of the night India won the World Cup in 2011 after 28 years under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The men in blue had defeated Sri Lanka in the final on April 2, 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, to lift the coveted trophy. India chased a target of 275 runs set by their opponents with brilliant knocks from Gautam Gambhir and MSD.

"On July 14, I want the Cup in my hand. Even when I think of it (2011 win), it gives me goosebumps. Playing the World Cup 2019 has been a dream and my teammates are my brothers. My plan now is simple: win the World Cup, and I'm hoping that and I expect that from myself," Pandya further added.

The stylish all-rounder who is known for being aggressive on the field has been in good form with the bat in this year's edition of the tournament. His overall strike-rate in the World Cup till now is 185.29, which is quite impressive. The Virat Kohli led side would like to continue their winning stride in the biggest cricketing event of the year.