ICC World Cup 2019: Shoaib Akhtar backs India to lift the cup

ICC World Cup 2019: Shoaib Akhtar backs India to lift the cup

Shoaib also praised Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

Shoaib Akhtar
Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

After all the excitement in the league stage, the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup is all set to take place. The first of them is scheduled to be played tomorrow between India and New Zealand at the Old Trafford in Manchester. It’s a venue where all the five matches in the mega event have been won by the team batting first. The Men in Blue was dominant in the main round of the tournament.

Barring their 31-run defeat at the hands of England at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, Virat Kohli and Co brushed every other opponent aside. Subsequently, India finished on top of the points table with 15 points from nine matches. The Kane Williamson-captained Black Caps, on the other hand, were unbeaten after their first six matches but slumped to defeats in their last three encounters.

I will back India all the way

In the meantime, Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistan cricketer, feels that India can go on and lift the coveted trophy and he wants it to stay in the sub-continent. Moreover, the retired speedster said that the Kiwis can’t hold their nerve where the opponents exert pressure on them.

“New Zealand can’t take the pressure. I hope they don’t choke this time. But I really want the World Cup to stay in the subcontinent and I think, I will back India all the way,” Shoaib was quoted as saying in his official YouTube channel.

Shoaib, who played his last World Cup match against New Zealand in 2011, was also all praise for Rohit Sharma. The Indian batsman is currently the leading run-scorer of the ongoing World Cup with 647 runs at an average of 92.42. The 32-year-old scored a magnificent ton versus Sri Lanka in Leeds and became the first batsman with five tons in a single edition of the mega event.

Even Rahul, who’s opening the batting in place of Shikhar Dhawan, got a masterful century in the last game and Shoaib lauded him as well. “Rohit Sharma has great timing and shot selection. His understanding of the game is also superb. K.L. Rahul also got his ton which is a good thing,” he mentioned.