India vs Pakistan EXCLUSIVE: Virat Kohli is ‘miles ahead’ of Babar Azam, declares Shoaib Akhtar ahead of T20 World Cup clash

All roads will lead to the Dubai International Cricket Stadium this Sunday as it gears up to host the mother of all battles on the cricket pitch – India versus Pakistan. Both teams will open their campaigns in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 with what is billed to be a mouth-watering clash.

Meanwhile, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar who has been part of a fair share of clashes against India – spoke exclusively to Zee News English during a Facebook Live session.

Akhtar spoke extensively on the comparison between Team India skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistan captain Babar Azam and declared that Kohli as a batsman is miles ahead of Azam.

“Virat Kohli is far bigger and his records are proof of that. Babar is just catching up, but he is a very exciting talent and a classical player. His drives are joyful to watch. Babar has proved his mettle across the formats,” Akhtar said.

“I feel sorry for Kohli, as he is not a luckiest captain for India, but it will be a very exciting match between India and Pakistan as two of the greatest batsmen and tow of the greatest captains will be front of each other and that too in front of a big crowd,” the Pakistan legend added.

Meanwhile, Babar Azam on Saturday announced a 12-man shortlist, out of which 11 will feature in the team’s opening match of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup against India here on Sunday. The players who missed out on the 12-man shortlist include Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Nawaz and Sarfaraz Ahmed.

“We have decided the 12 men who could be a part of the side for tomorrow. Myself, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf. These are our 12-man side and we will announce our playing eleven tomorrow,” said Azam in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

Speaking about the preparation ahead of the match against India, he said, “Our preparation has been going very well. We got a lot of confidence from the camp and the matches we played there. The boys are making an effort, which gives a lot of motivation as a captain. We will try to play our best cricket on the given day and give our best.”

Azam insisted that the lop-sided 0-5 record in men’s T20 World Cup against India is a thing of the past. “To be honest, what has passed is beyond us. We want to use our ability and confidence on the day of the match so that we can get a better result. Records are meant to be broken.”

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Sagar Biswas

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