Friday Oct 22, 2021
Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has said Pakistan's "real anger" was directed towards New Zealand, not India, as the Kiwis had abandoned their tour to the country last month, and England followed.
"Our real anger is with New Zealand. We will take it out on them, we have no issues with you (India)," Akhtar said while talking during "Salaam Cricket 2021", according to India Today.
The former pacer said the Virat Kohli-led squad would be under more pressure as compared to Pakistan, as the Babar Aza-led team did not have anything to lose.
"There is a lot of pressure but it's less on Pakistan because, first of all, the entire stadium is blue. That is yours. Your fans will be there, your broadcasters, we have no problems if we lose this," Akhtar said.
"On a serious note, I feel there is a lot at stake for India. If Pakistan bat first and make more than 180 runs, then trust me, the pressure gets to the biggest of players. If India can handle that pressure better than Pakistan, that's fine, but what if Pakistan surprises you?" he questioned.
Speaking about India's star batter and skipper, he said luck was not on Kohli's side. It is pertinent to mention that this T20 World Cup is Kohli's last tournament as the captain.
"Captain's luck is not favourable for Virat Kohli. I feel that Virat Kohli is such a great cricketer, a great guy, but somehow, as a captain, his luck is not striking. I hope it doesn't strike on the 24th," Akhtar added.
Pakistan are going to take on their arch-rivals India in a blockbuster clash at the Dubai International Stadium, on Sunday.
The Babar-led Pakistan squad will look to end their losing streak against India at the World Cup when the two rivals begin their title race in a Sunday blockbuster.
India have beaten Pakistan in all of their 12 matches at the T20 and 50-over World Cups.
However, Pakistan come into the Super 12s contest with 10 wins in a row in the UAE and former Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar believes the team has struck the right balance to challenge Kohli's India.