Saturday, October 14, 2023

Former Pakistan captain makes big statement about Indian team

"I believe to upset India, Pakistan’s players will have to really give their best," says Wasim Akram

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram. — Agencies
Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram. — Agencies

As the excitement around the biggest match of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 grows, former Pakistan skipper and legendary bowler Waism Akran has made a bold statement about the Indian side.

Two-time champions India have a perfect 7-0 record against Pakistan in the 50-overs World Cup and are also the top-ranked ODI team, who have won both their games in the tournament so far.

But Pakistan have also won their opening two matches, and Babar Azam is approaching the tournament's most-anticipated clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the world's largest cricket venue, with a complete disregard for the past.

However, Wasim Akram is of the view that the Men in Blue won’t be feeling the heat of playing at home ground against arch-rivals.

“I don’t think India would be under pressure because of home expectations. They have a lot of experienced players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma who have played numerous high-pressure games over the years. They can guide the young guns in their line-up,” he told The News.

“I believe to upset India, Pakistan’s players will have to really give their best. I hope they will do it,” he added.

Pakistan have never won against India in the World Cup in their seven outings since 1992.

Their previous loss was by 89 runs in a rain-hit league match of the 2019 edition in Manchester.

India remain behind in their overall ODI head-to-heads against Pakistan with 56 wins and 73 losses but have clearly been the stronger team in recent meetings.

Rohit´s men hammered Pakistan by 228 runs in their Asia Cup Super Four clash last month and went on to win the regional tournament.

Top Indian batters have been among the runs in the two victories at the World Cup so far with Virat Kohli hitting 85 and KL Rahul an unbeaten 97 against Australia.

Kohli then made an undefeated 55 in the win over Afghanistan.

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah´s 4-39 on Wednesday gave the Indian bowling unit a boost ahead of Saturday´s match.