Aakash Chopra believes a Pakistan win against New Zealand in tonight’s T20 World Cup 2021 encounter will help Team India’s cause.
The Indian team was handed a comprehensive 10-wicket drubbing by Pakistan in their T20 World Cup opener. The Virat Kohli-led side has a week’s break before they take on New Zealand in their second Super 12 encounter on October 31.
Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Help India’s Cause If They Defeat New Zealand
Aakash Chopra pointed out that the Babar Azam-led side can do Team India a favour by defeating the Kiwis. At the same time, he previewed the Pakistan-New Zealand encounter in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
He explained: “I feel Pakistan will help India if they defeat New Zealand. But if it happens the other way round, New Zealand beats Pakistan, it can be a three-way tie, the net run rate story can come if India beats New Zealand and assuming the three teams win their remaining matches.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator added that Pakistan will have one foot in the semi-finals if they put it across the Black Caps.
Aakash Chopra reasoned: “If Pakistan beat New Zealand, then only Afghanistan will be there in between and two teams who have come from the qualifiers – Scotland and Namibia. Then Pakistan through, make your place in the semi-finals and enjoy.”
Aakash Chopra: Pakistan Will Look For Revenge As They Felt Humiliated When New Zealand Went There And Returned Back Without Playing Any Match
Aakash Chopra highlighted that Pakistan might even be looking for revenge after New Zealand’s last-minute withdrawal from their tour recently.
He observed: “It is slightly a grudge match because Pakistan felt very humiliated when New Zealand went there and returned without giving any reason. So I feel Pakistan may have a point to prove.”
The 44-year-old concluded by stating that Pakistan seems to be a well-rounded unit with both their bowling and batting coming to the fore.
Aakash Chopra said: “Pakistan is the team on song. They are playing like that, top three were anyway playing well and these conditions are going to suit Hafeez and Shoaib Malik a lot. They are bowling well. The team is looking formidable.”
Pakistan had limited-overs series against England and New Zealand scheduled at home ahead of the T20I World Cup, but the tours never came to fruition. Both boards pulled out at the last minute to tour Pakistan, citing security concerns and the wellbeing of players. New Zealand had even arrived there, but withdrew a few minutes before the toss happened.
New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. The Kiwis left Islamabad on a charter flight the next night. The Pakistan tour was Black Cap’s first tour to the Asian country since 2003, and it was made possible after receiving clearance from their security agency.
A deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore saw Pakistan become a no-go destination for international teams. In between 2012 and 2015, Pakistan hosted England in the UAE, which has staged most of its “home” games since the attack. However, a rapid improvement in security in recent years has led to the return of international cricket, with Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, South Africa, and Bangladesh touring in the past six years.