Former Pakistan skipper and legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram stated that India are the clear favorite to beat Pakistan in the Asia Cup which will take place on Sunday at Mirpur, Dhaka.
The archrival will face each other after over a year when they meet in the high profile round robin match on February 27.
The two sides have not played since their Wolrd Cup duel in 2015 as the proposed bilateral series in December did not materialize. And going by India’s T20 from in Australia and against Sri Lanka at home recently, Akram thinks it might be difficult for Pakistan to come out on top.
“That will be a good game to look forward to and given the way India are playing right now, they’re clear favorites,” Akram told the Times of India.
The Asia Cup 2016 will be played in T20 format for the first time, keeping in mind the World 20 next month in India. All the 13 earlier editions have been played as ODI tournaments. The legendary bowler reckons it is a very good move by the Asian Cricket Council; to allow Asia Cup to switch modes depending on the world title that follows- World T20 and ODI World Cup.
“The Asia Cup this year assumes a lot of significance, particularly because of the Twenty20 format that it’ll be played in. It was a very sensible decision on part of the Asian Cricket Council. Out of the last three World T20 champions, three are participating in this Asia Cup, so that quotient alone adds so much excitement to the tournament,” Akram said.
Akram during his interaction with Times of India, he was critical about Indian bowlers and said that the BCCI should take measures to improve the bowling standards.
“India has failed to guard its bowlers. First of all, there are just too many people that a bowler is talking to. The BCCI has to be very strict about it and tell the bowlers that they can only go to a certain academy or a BCCI-appointed coach and over there they should interact only with specified coaches with regards to their bowling.”The more you start taking advice from multiple people, the more likely you are to enter a state of confusion. That’s exactly what had happened with Irfan Pathan. He went to too many people and lost his swing,” Akram added.
“The more you start taking advice from multiple people, the more likely you are to enter a state of confusion. That’s exactly what had happened with Irfan Pathan. He went to too many people and lost his swing,” Akram added.
Of late, Mohammed Shami has been on the Indian fast bowlers who has struggled with injuries. The seamer was picked for Australia series after a nine-month long surgery layoff following the World Cup last year but unfortunately, for him, he picked up another injury and had to fly back home, and then failed to recover even for the Asia Cup.
“When I came to know that Shami was making a comeback for the tour of Australia last month, I told one of my co-commentators…’You wait and watch, this guy will probably pull his hamstring’. That’s because the pressure of bowling in a practice game or in the nets or in a domestic game is different and the pressure of bowling in an international match is different. You need to properly play a full season of first-class cricket after a knee injury before international cricket,” Akram said.