It will not be easy for Pakistan to beat India in T20 World Cup this time: Shoaib Akhtar

Pakistan thrashed India to a 10-wicket defeat in the T20 World Cup clash last year.

Shoaib Akhtar speaking
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Shoaib Akhtar. (Photo Source: Facebook)

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Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar believes that, unlike the previous T20 World Cup, it would be difficult for the Men in Green to beat India in the upcoming T20 World Cup that is scheduled to take place in Australia in October. Pakistan and India locked horns in their respective campaign openers where the former thrashed the latter to an awful defeat.

Pakistan’s 10-wicket win over India in the T20 World Cup 2021 was historic because they had never defeated the men in blue at a 20-over global event, and that win marked a first. The two teams are yet again in the same group and will square off against each other on October 23, Sunday, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“India will come up with proper planning this time around. It will not be easy for Pakistan to beat India in T20 WC this time,” Akhtar was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan. Akhtar, who holds the world record for the fastest ball in the history of the sport, feels that the Indian side will be geared up and prepared to face their arch-rivals Pakistan, thereby learning from their previous defeat.

He also advised Pakistan to bowl second since the Melbourne pitch will be more favourable to their fast bowlers. “Predicting match results now is quite difficult but Pakistan should bowl second as [the] pitch in Melbourne offers bounce to fast bowlers,” he said.

Around 150,000 fans will watch the match in Melbourne: Akhtar

The India-Pakistan rivalry is watched by every cricket fan in the world and is also eagerly anticipated by the fans of the two nations, apart from others. Some of the finest cricketing contests have been witnessed when the two neighbouring countries have clashed before, and Akhtar feels that the MCG would be filled with lakhs of audience.

“I believe the crowd will be bigger this time. Around 150,000 fans will watch the match line in Melbourne. Out of which, 70,000 will be Indian supporters,” he said. Pakistan’s next stint in the international arena will be their two-match Test series against hosts Sri Lanka which is scheduled to begin on July 16.