Shahid Afridi ‘admits’ defeat before India-Pakistan clash, says Virat Kohli’s team a stronger contender


DUBAI: Ahead of the high-octane India-Pakistan T20 World Cup clash in Dubai on Sunday, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi has already accepted ‘defeat’ and has said that Viral Kohli-led side will come out as a winner.

The former Pakistani all-rounder made these remarks while speaking to Sama TV news channel when asked as to which team will have an upper hand in today’s match.

Replying to the question, Afridi said that India is a strong contender and top favourite to win the match. Taking about Team India’s chances, Afridi said, “India will have the upper hand in this match, Team India has big leverage. The Indian team is adept at handling pressure. Team India has been playing well for the last 10-15 years. In this match, whichever team plays with a good mindset and body language, it will win,” Afridi said.

“Pakistan will have to give their 100% to defeat Team India. Only after overcoming the pressure can Pakistan register a victory over India. Pakistan should enjoy cricket to the fullest irrespective of the results and give their 100%,” the explosive former Pakistani all-rounder said.

Virat Kohli-led India will face Babar Azam’s Pakistan in a high-octane Group 2 clash in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men`s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Sunday.

India last hosted Pakistan in a bilateral series in 2013 and the teams now meet only in global tournaments. The two teams last met in the group stages of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, with India convincingly defeating the old rivals to maintain their undefeated streak in World Cups.

The two arch-rivals have met each other five times at a T20 World Cup and ‘Men in Blue’ have won on all the occasions. However, a new day awaits for both the teams on October 24 and they will have an equal chance to win.

Both teams come into the match with decent practice under their belt, having played two warm-up matches each. Pakistan beat West Indies by seven wickets in their first match before losing to South Africa off the last ball in the second. India, the 2007 champions, on the other hand, won both their warm-up matches, beating England and Australia.

Both teams are full of talented T20 players who can single-handedly win games for their sides on any given day.

The likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rishabh Pant will be India`s strength in batting while Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Md Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Varun Chakravarthy will pose a tough challenge to opposition batting.

For Pakistan, captain Babar Azam, wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, and Mohammad Hafeez will be key in the batting while the likes of Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, and Shadab Khan will look to trouble the Indian batters.

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Sagar Biswas

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