The biggest date of the ICC World Cup around the corner, June 16 both sides of the India-Pakistan border are gearing up for the mega show. Virat Kohli’s men will lock horns with those of Sarfaraz Ahmed at Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday in what will be the seventh clash between the arch-rivals in the Cricket World Cup. Former greats from both the countries who have featured in such marquee clashes earlier have expressed their views ahead of the game.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag is confident about India winning over their arch-rivals yet one more time. The 40-year-old who has played in two World Cup clashes against Pakistan in 2003 and 2011 gave his opinion during a discussion with former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar on the latter’s YouTube channel when asked to predict the outcome.
When Akhtar, who Sehwag has played in the 2003 World Cup, asked him which team he is backing in the high-voltage clash after considering all factors, including toss to playing conditions, Sehwag said the obvious. “I don’t believe that Pakistan will be able to beat India on the 16th in any way whatsoever,” Viru said.
Toss will be crucial factor
Akhtar, as expected, begged to differ. He said the outcome of the game will depend on the toss. He said if Pakistan won the toss, they should win and that will open up the tournament. “After that, any team amongst England, Australia, Pakistan, and India can win the tournament,” the Rawalpindi Express said. India have a no-loss record in the tournament so far with two wins from three games. They beat South Africa and Australia in their first two matches while the game against New Zealand was washed out on Thursday.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have beaten England but lost to the West Indies and Australia. Their match against Sri Lanka was also washed out. India are now in the third position in the table with five points while Pakistan are lagging in the bottom half with three from four matches. In the World Cup, Pakistan have never beaten India although they had crushed the Men in Blue in the final of the Champions Trophy in England exactly two years ago.