Wahab Riaz feels India will be under pressure from Pakistan

Wahab Riaz reasoned that that would be so as India lost to Pakistan earlier in the Champions Trophy

Faizan Lakhani

KARACHI: Fast bowler Wahab Riaz said Friday night India would be under pressure from Pakistan in the much-awaited 2019 World Cup when it would face the boys in green at Manchester's Old Trafford Stadium on June 16.

However, Riaz feels that this time, India, which has an edge by staying unbeaten against Pakistan in the prior World Cup encounters, would likely be under pressure from Pakistan after having lost earlier in the Champions Trophy.

Speaking to Geo.tv here on the sidelines of the Corporate Cup T20 where he is playing for Omar Associates, the 33-year old said: “The game against India will be a pressure game, you have to control the nerves.

"We had defeated India in Champions Trophy final, so they’ll be under pressure. It would be a nail-biting contest. My advice to boys: keep calm and play it like just another game,” 

The fast bowler, nevertheless, termed India as one of his favourites to play the semi-finals of the upcoming World Cup.

While “my favourite team is Pakistan, obviously," he said he "would love to see Pakistan winning". He added: "We have a good team and I am expecting better results from them.

“I think other than Pakistan, India, England, and Australia are teams that can make it to final four of the tournament,” the cricketer said when asked about who he foresees in the penultimate game.

In response to a question, Riaz said he agreed that the bowling line was possibly slightly inexperienced but stressed that the players will gain the experience only by playing more and more matches.

“I won’t say if I would have made a difference. But it is true that our attack [side] is young and inexperienced … experienced players in the middle would have made a difference.

"Nevertheless, these players will gain experience only by playing” continuously, he said.

“Bowlers will have to bowl smartly in England as the ball usually remains even on the English tracks, which are usually batting-supportive. So I think the bowler who will bowl with pace and accuracy will be successful here.

"You don’t need to do many experiments with bowling there,” he added.

The bowler went on to say he was keeping himself fit and ready for cricket at any level. “I am enjoying bowling here,” he stated.