As India take on Pakistan, Shoiab Akhtar has backed the team batting first to come out on top.© YouTube
Ahead of the high-voltage clash between India and Pakistan, legendary fast bowler Shoiab Akhtar has backed the team batting first to come out on top. India and Pakistan face off in the Asia Cup on Saturday at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy. While India will open their campaign later today, Pakistan head into the fixture on the back of a 238-run triumph over Nepal in the tournament opener. Akhtar feels Pakistan “will literally hammer India” if they bat first, adding that the same could happen to Pakistan if India bat first.
“Babar and his team are very mature. They have played high-pressure games against India before. They won’t be in much pressure now. If Pakistan win the toss and bat first, they will literally hammer India. Vice-versa, if India win the toss, Pakistan could be in trouble because ball isn’t really moving much under the lights,” Akhtar said on his YouTube channel.
Speaking on India’s combination, Akhtar wants left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav to feature, along with the three frontline pacers in Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj.
“Both teams have a good chance. Bumrah, Shami, Siraj should be playing together. Kuldeep should play. There’s a debate on Virat Kohli on whether he should bat at 3 or 4, and whether Ishan should bat at 5 or open the innings. But what I must say is that Pakistan is a formidable side. They have the ammunition with the ball, and their batting is settled. It isn’t a volatile batting order anymore, like in the past. These are the two balanced sides when they play in the sub-continent,” he added.
The India vs Pakistan match starts 3 PM IST.
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