Former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has predicted that Pakistan and India are likely to face one another in the T20 World Cup final and that Pakistan will emerge victorious.
Ever since the announcement of the World Cup groups, the most talked about and awaited match has to be the one between India and Pakistan. The World Cup is all set to take place in UAE from 17 October to 19 November.
Pakistan and India have been put under group 2 along with New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1.
UAE is considered to be like a home ground for Pakistan and India as the conditions are similar to those of their local grounds. Hence, Shoaib Akhtar believes that Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and West Indies will dominate the world cup throughout.
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“You can’t rule out Pakistan from winning this year’s T20 World Cup despite their lost T20I series against England. Note it, Pakistan and India will meet in mega event’s final in the UAE,” he believes.
According to statistics, Pakistan has a 0-11 record against India in ICC World Cups (ODI & T20I) but Akhtar feels that record will change in the United Arab Emirates in November.
The tournament was previously set to be played in India however, after the coronavirus pandemic, the venue was moved from India to UAE.
Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019. Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia join Sri Lanka in Group A, whilst Oman, Papua New Guinea and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B.
“I have a feeling that Pakistan and India will play in T20 World Cup final and India will lose to Pakistan.” – Shoaib Akhtar (Via: Sports Talk)#cricket #T20 #WC #India #Pakistan #IndvPak #ShoaibAkhtar pic.twitter.com/FtpkUs0OTh
— Cricfolks (@cricfolks) July 22, 2021
India and Pakistan have clashed previously on numerous occasions, but have not played any bilateral series since 2012 which is why every match between the two becomes a huge hype for the crowd.
Speaking on the World Cup Misbah-ul-Haq said “we are close to finalizing our combination for the T20 World Cup with about 8-9 players set in their positions. However we still have some problems in the middle-order that need sorting out.”
Previously, India and Pakistan created history by becoming the first two countries to reach the final of the inaugural ICC World T20 event in South Africa in 2007. The two sides also engaged in a bowl-out during a group stage match at the mega event in Durban.
Apart from the World Cup, Shoaib Akhtar has also talked about Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar, asking people to stop comparing the two as Sachin was a great batsmen who played world-class bowlers that too in 50 overs. He said after the first twenty overs, the ball started to reverse swing and add that to the bowling of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis’s speed and Shane Warne’s spin, it is not a small thing to score the way Sachin did. “Virat hasn’t batted in Sachin’s era” Akhtar said.
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On the other hand, Akhtar also praised Kohli and predicted that he can score as many as 110 International Hundreds and can beat the record of Sachin in International formats.
Where are we now?
After losing the ODI’s and T20’s from England, Pakistan is all set to face West Indies. The team has reached West Indies where they will be playing five T20’s and two Test Matches. The first T20 match between the two teams will be played in Bridgetown on 27th July.
After this series, Pakistan will face Afghanistan in September as the Afghan team has announced their squad on Friday. The two teams will play three One-day International (ODI) s in UAE. The last time the two teams met was in the 2019 World Cup in England, in which Pakistan registered a memorable win.
Reports state the PCB & PSL franchises have agreed to hold PSL7 in January and February next year. All fixtures are planned to be played in Pakistan, with the home series against Australia due to be played after the PSL in February and March #Cricket #PSL7
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) July 24, 2021
Additionally, according to reports, PCB and PSL have agreed to hold the 7th edition of PSL in January and February next year. Previously, due to schedule problems, PSL was clashing with the series against Australia and the Indian Premier League.