Former Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi said that captain Virat Kohli leading batting line-up will make them favourite for the high-octane tournament between India and Pakistan. The match will take place on June 4 in Birmingham.
Afridi wrote in his ICC column that “As a passionate Pakistan supporter, it’s natural that I would want my team to finish on the winning side against any team, and especially against India. However, recent history and the depth of the India squad give it a slight edge heading into the game.”
“Led by Virat Kohli, the Indians possess a formidable batting line-up that can flay any bowling attack on its day. Kohli’s credentials as a top-order batsman are known to all and he has played some memorable innings in the ODI format.”
“I have vivid memories of his sublime century against us in the 2012 Asia Cup, while he was at his absolute best in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 clash at Adelaide, laying the foundation of an Indian win with a masterful hundred.”
Afridi added that bowling to skipper Kohli will be a challenge for their Team bowlers, “For me, bowling to Kohli was always a challenge and Pakistan bowlers would have to be on top of their game against him. They must try and attack, especially when he is new at the crease. If Pakistan dismisses Kohli cheaply, it will significantly increase its chances of restricting India to a low score.”
“While Kohli is the backbone, India possesses considerable firepower around him. Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni are all match-winners and capable of churning out exceptional performances.”
Afridi, who hold record taking most wickets in T20 International cricket, said that he was happy to see Yuvraj (his old friend) in the field. “I am really pleased to see my old friend Yuvraj return to the international fold with renewed hunger and passion for the game.”
“I wish him the very best and hope to see him play in his usual belligerent way. Yuvi is a treat to watch when in full flow and some of his shots leave you awestruck. I do hope though that he reserves his best for the game following the opener against Pakistan.”