Sunday Oct 24 2021

Pak vs India: T20 World Cup 2021 match preview

Photo: AFP/File
Photo: AFP/File 
  • Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has announced a 12-member team for the T20 World Cup clash against India at the Dubai Sports City Ground today.
  • "Shoaib will be a better choice as he has got all the required potential and striking ability to upstage the opposition," says  skipper.
  • Captain dispels impression of facing any undue pressure for match.

ISLAMABAD: With passions running high on both sides of the India-Pakistan border, the arch-rivals will face off today (Sunday) in a T20 World Cup blockbuster in Dubai.

Addressing a virtual presser on Saturday, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam announced a 12-member team for their T20 World Cup clash at the Dubai Sports City Ground today. However, India has kept their cards close to the chest.

“We have finalized a 12-member team for the opening match against India and have included Haider Ali also. The final XI for the match will be announced prior to the start,” he said.

It is believed that Haider has a tie with Asif Ali and at the same time the Pakistan camp is also keeping an eye on Mohammad Hafeez’s fitness level.

When ‘The News’ questioned Babar Azam on the reasons for not picking experienced veteran Sarfaraz Ahmad in the line-up, considering his expertise against spin, he said that he was having a tie with Shoaib Malik.

“At the end, we thought Shoaib would be a better choice as he has got all the required potential and striking ability to upstage the opposition. Sarfaraz will get his chance wherever his services are required. Possibly you would see him playing in matches to come.”

The Pakistan captain also defended Shahdab Khan’s poor run of form with the ball and, at the same time, his inability to make most of the given opportunities when it came to batting. “He did not come up to his real groove in [the] recent past, but he has worked hard on his batting and bowling. We hope to see Shahdab’s best in the tournament as he has all the required potential to outshine others.”

Babar again boosted his batting line up, hailing it as his forte.

“When it comes to our strong points, I think batting comes first. We have a strong batting lineup going down deep. Batting is our strength going into the T20 World Cup.”

Babar played down his team’s poor record against India which sees no win so far in the T20 World Cup. Both teams have played five matches, with India winning all. “Records are there to be broken. What has happened in the past is history. We are looking to the future without paying any heed to records. Players are in a good rhythm and hopefully they carry that going into the opening match against India. We have got all the required potential to beat them.”

Pakistan’s all-format captain dispelled the impression of facing any undue pressure for the match.

“Usually fans feel that pressure since they are expecting the best from their respective teams. Admittedly, a Pakistan and India match usually provides all the ingredients of a tense situation, yet cricketers hardly face any pressure. We are prepared to be fearless and to play pressure-free cricket against India.”

He hoped that victory against India would provide the required momentum for better performance in the matches to come. “We are eying for a win on Sunday to set the tone for a better and more solid base to the team’s chances for [the] matches to come.”

Pakistan’s team:

Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shahdab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Haider Ali.

For all of's latest news, updates and analysis of the T20 World Cup 2021, visit: