Within 24 hours of wishing India ‘good luck’ for the semis against England, Shoaib Akhtar has changed his opinion on the upcoming game. Right after Pakistan thrashed New Zealand, the former speedster expressed his desire to see India reach the final. The ‘Rawalpindi Express’ uploaded a video wishing the Men in Blue the ‘best of luck’.
Dear India, good luck for tomorrow. We'll be waiting for you in Melbourne for a great game of cricket. pic.twitter.com/SdBLVYD6vm
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) November 9, 2022
However, hours after the video, the 46-Test veteran had a change of opinion. During a conversation, Akhtar said that it will be a repeat of the 1992 ODI World Cup. For the unversed, England faced Pakistan after beating South Africa in the semis. On the other hand, Pakistan had beaten New Zealand the way they did in the ongoing tournament.
“I want a rematch between India and Pakistan. But I think Pakistan will repeat history in 2022. Jaise 1992 ka World Cup jeetey they, New Zealand ko harakey final mein phochey they, waise he mujhey lagta hai England India ko phainta lagakey, wo phoch jayga final mein, aur phir hum unko harakey World Cup leke wapis ajayngey.
(I do want a rematch between India and Pakistan but I think history will repeat itself in 2022. Like how Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup, by defeating New Zealand to enter the final, England will beat India to enter the summit clash. And then we (Pakistan team) will beat England in the final to take home the World Cup trophy),” Akhtar told ARY News.
England batting will destroy India: Shoaib Akhtar
The 47-year-old added that England’s batting will be a threat to Indian bowling. However, he also said that if India bats second, the Three Lions will be under pressure.
“India chase krega (Team India would like to chase in the semi-final). England also somehow suffer from pressure. I reckon England batting second will destroy India, whoever chases it, I don’t know, I think it will be much easier to win the game. Isme sabsey zyada maza kisko ayga – ICC aur broadcaster ko! (This match will be a treat for ICC and the official broadcaster of the World Cup),” Akhtar added.
Notably, the Red Army’s batting after skipper Jos Buttler and Alex Hales have struggled badly in the tournament. Phil Salt, who will play in place of Dawid Malan is lacking game time in the tournament. Also, the likes of Ben Stokes, Liam Livingston, etc are yet to do well.