India and Pakistan are set to lock horns in a mouth-watering encounter of the T20 World Cup on October 24 in Dubai. The former has a dominant record against Pakistan, having won all their 12 games in the World Cups. However, Pakistan did manage to beat India in the Champions Trophy final in 2017. The Men in Blue are a formidable team and will certainly start as favourites.
Pakistan pacer Umar Gul believes that if Pakistan can dismiss India skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma for not much, Pakistan can put India under some serious pressure. “India have worked really hard on their team and realistically, they are very strong. The IPL has benefitted them and given them several players. If you have to look at their batting, then Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are the main players. They are a part of India’s top order. Get them out and India will be under pressure. If in the Powerplay, Pakistan can dismiss 2-3 of their top order batsmen, then it will be tough for the rest of the batsmen,” Gul told Cricket Pakistan.
India have few good players in the middle order but their form is a cause of concern. The likes of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya has struggled in the second leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) so far. India, Pakistan doesn’t play bilateral series and only face each other in ICC events. The two teams last met in the ICC 2019 World Cup where the Virat Kohli-led side emerged victorious.
Meanwhile, Gul also shed light on the criticism surrounding the Pakistan T20 World Cup squad. The selectors made some strange choices and dropped veteran batsman Shoaib Malik, former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed and opener Fakhar Zaman from the squad and included Azam Khan. Gul said. “No doubt that the [T20 World Cup] squad has been criticised a lot since it was announced. I think we should criticise the squad but don’t mention the names of players because our cricket is going through a difficult phase after the cancellation of New Zealand and England’s tours of Pakistan. It’s time to back the players rather than demoralise them,” said Gul.