Hyderabad: For any die-hard Indian fan, winning against Pakistan is as good as winning a World Cup. It is vice versa in Pakistan. It is often billed as Mother of all Clashes. Tensions, passions and emotions reach frenzy heights. A spine-chilling build-up is already brewing up in Pakistan for the Super Sunday clash. Having never won a match against India in a World Cup match, an investor has promised the new Pakistan Cricket Board chief Ramiz Raja a blank cheque if Pakistan can register their first win over their arch-rivals in the UAE World Cup.
With simmering discontent between the two countries reaching a new low of late, this Oct 24 clash could be significant in many aspects. The last time India met Pakistan in a one-day World Cup was in 2019 and Kohli’s men came out victorious. It was the same result in the 2016 T20 World Cup match in Kolkata. The defeats to India in World Cups continue to haunt Pakistan.
With the draw of lots straightaway pitting Pakistan against India in the opening Group 2 Super 12 match, the pressure is on Babar Azam’s team. Pakistan have a new coach in Australian opener Mathew Hayden after PCB decided to dispense off both Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis. This will be the first big assignment for Hayden and he straightaway is thrown into a cauldron of emotions.
Pakistan is a team that has often flattered to deceive. Being deprived of home matches as many of the teams have refused to play in their country, the latest being New Zealand and England, Pakistan have suffered immensely. Even recent results have not been great as they have been consistently inconsistent leading to the ouster of Misbah and Younis.
They have a young leader in Azam who exudes confidence with the willow. He has been Pakistan’s big hope in winning the Cup. Pakistan have won the T20 World Cup once and that was way back in 2009 after losing the final in the previous edition to India. Since then they have come cropper. If Azam has been a key performer in batting, then it is left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi in bowling. Afridi, who has the pace and swing, has been the top wicket-taker for Pakistan. The team’s fortunes in this World Cup will largely revolve around Azam and Afridi. The rest of the team members need to provide that extra cushion for Pakistan’s bid to retain the past glory.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.