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Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has recently revealed his prediction for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. He feels that India is the strong favourite side for the upcoming tournament.
England and Wales will host the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup from 30 May to 14 July. A total of ten teams will participate in this competition. Wasim Akram seems confident about the Pakistan national cricket team, but he feels that the Indian national cricket team is the favourite side for the tournament.
Recently, Wasim Akram wrote for TOI, “Among the teams that are involved in the cricket World Cup, Pakistan have always been an outfit that people loved to watch and follow. You can never write them off. India look firm favourites for me. New Zealand are the dark horses, but Pakistan are right up there.”
Talking about the Pakistan side, Wasim Akram credits the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Pakistan Super League (PSL). The former left-arm pacer believes that Pakistan has a good youth charging side with the proper experiences. Pakistan’s fielding side has also impressed him.
Wasim Akram wrote, “I’ll give credit to the Pakistan Super League and our board for the resurgence of Pakistan cricket. We have a young side, apart from a Mohammad Hafeez and a Shoaib Malik, everyone is in their mid 20s. They are young, as well as experienced. The fielding also has improved.”
After the PSL, Pakistan will play a five-match ODI series against the host England at just before the World Cup. Wasim Akram feels that it will be the ideal preparation for Pakistan before the World Cup.
Faheem Ashraf can be a match-winner for Pakistan
The 25-year-old medium-pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf has impressed Wasim Akram. The legendary Pakistan cricketer believes that Faheem Ashraf can be a match-winner for the national side.
Wasim Akram also praised Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan and the in-form Babar Azam. Babar Azam performed consistently in every format during the recent South Africa tour. However, Wasim Akram believes that the 24-year-old batsman must have to forget these performances to prevent over-confidence.
Wasim Akram added, “The one Pakistan cricketer I want to see perform is Faheem Ashraf, because he’s been the all-rounder Pakistan are looking for. He just has to improve his bowling a bit, and be consistent with the bat. He can be a match-winner. Shadab Khan (leg-spinner) was the Man of the Match against South Africa on Wednesday night. I also want Rizwan to perform because that can put pressure on Sarfraz Ahmed. Babar Azam, who was the best batsman on the difficult South Africa tour, looks confident and is in good nick. However, to prevent over-confidence, he must forget about what he did in South Africa.”
The 1992 World Cup-winners Pakistan will begin their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup journey on 31st May against Windies. They had the memorable experiences in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy that was also organised by England and Wales. Pakistan won that tournament for the first time after beating India in the final by 180 runs. Every Pakistan fan is hoping to see similar performance during the upcoming World Cup.