Sunday’s India-Pakistan match and the unexpected result after it has left cricket pundits scratching their heads.
Cricket experts, especially those from India, have been compelled to reconsider team Pakistan and why it could be a force to reckon with in this T20 World Cup.
The men in green are facing New Zealand in Sharjah tonight in what would be an interesting battle as the Kiwis are not in Pakistan’s good books anymore.
New Zealand pulled out of the bilateral series against Pakistan last month right at the eleventh hour making a mockery of the hosts as well as questioning their security arrangement.
This adds to the subplot of the game with the Pakistanis eyeing to avenge the disrespect from the Kiwis.
According to cricket expert and former Indian opener Aakash Chopra, Pakistan pacers Haris Rauf and Shaheen Shah Afridi are going to be the key players in today’s game
“Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi will together take 4 or more wickets. I was taking Haris Rauf lightly but he is a decent bowler. He bowls at pace and his slower one is very deceptive. The length at which he bowls will be perfect for Sharjah,” Aakash said in his YouTube video.
From the Kiwi camp, Chopra expects Lockie Ferguson to have an impact in the game given his recent experience of playing in UAE conditions.
“Lockie Ferguson can take 2 or more wickets. He has bowled decently well here, he has played IPL encounters for Kolkata. I think he will be fine.”
Aakash Chopra opined that the trio of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman will make a substantial contribution for Pakistan.
“Babar, Rizwan and Zaman – their top three – will make more than 90 runs. And I feel they will have to do that as well if you have to go ahead because you have to do a lot better in the powerplay overs than the last four or five overs.”
Chopra concluded by saying that Pakistan will end up winning the contest given that they are supremely confident heading into this game after their win against India.
“I am just going with Pakistan to win. New Zealand will have to play much above their potential to trouble Pakistan. The scales are tilted heavily towards Pakistan” said Chopra.