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In a massive blow to Pakistan’s plans for their game against India at Birmingham on the 4th of June, seasoned pacer Wahab Riaz in high probability will miss the game.
The experienced pacer, who is best remembered for his historic five-wicket haul against India in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup 2011, is suffering from serious knee pain.
During Pakistan’s net session in the lead up to their sold-out clash against India, Riaz didn’t take part in the bowling drills and wasn’t among the pacers who bowled. Later, however, Riaz was spotted training in the gym post the net session.
If indeed Riaz is out, then Pakistan’s bowling could be under immense pressure, owing to the inexperience of playing such a high octane clash against India before. Mohammad Amir and Junaid Khan have played against India in ICC events before, but the two haven’t been in the best of form off late.
Recently, former captain Shahid Afridi stated his opinion and said that he considered Pakistan to begin as favourites over India.
“The Champions Trophy is the only ICC event where Pakistan have had successes against India. We won the 2004 match at Edgbaston and then the 2009 match at Centurion. I hope the Men in Green deliver a rousing performance at Edgbaston to improve their record against India in global events,” said Afridi.
“On the upcoming match in Edgbaston, I really hope that we see a classic Indo-Pak match,” he wrote. “India have the strength as well as the psychological advantage based on their recent performances against us. India are a batting powerhouse brimming with talent, which is well supported by an aggressive and attacking bowling line-up,” the flamboyant all-rounder added.
Mentioning the fact that Pakistan’s bowling gave the side a chance, Afridi said,
“I feel Pakistan have a formidable bowling line-up that can challenge the Indian batting, especially in English conditions. As always, it would be a game of nerves and both teams would have to maintain their composure throughout.”