Mahmood reveals why India will have advantage over Pakistan in T20 World Cup

The allrounder believes that Indian players will have a good understanding of the pitches and conditions because of IPL

Mahmood reveals why India will have advantage over Pakistan in T20 World Cup PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

The India-Pakistan cricketing rivalry has always promised an enticing spectacle not only for the supporters but also for the neutrals.

The neighboring foes face off against each other yet again at the upcoming T20 World Cup and former Pakistan all-rounder and bowling coach Azhar Mahmood believes that India might have an edge heading into the tournament.

"India-Pakistan games are always special when it comes to the hype and the pressure on players and the age-old cliché of any team can win on the day does apply to the game in this T20 World Cup as well. But realistically speaking, India does have an advantage going into this game as their players have been participating in the IPL which was played in the same venues in the UAE. So apart from playing highly competitive cricket, they also will have a good understanding of the playing conditions in the UAE,” wrote Mahmood on PakPassion.

“But let us not forget that Pakistani players have also taken part in some intense Twenty20 cricket in the recently concluded National T20 Cup which was moved due to the cancellation of the New Zealand tour. Having said that, we all know that any India-Pakistan match is generally won by the side that is most able to absorb the pressure and in a format like Twenty20, it can easily come down to just one over where a batsman or bowler can totally change the complexion of the game," he added.

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Although Pakistan put a huge dent in India's confidence on their last outing by registering the win in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, Pakistan's overall record against their nemesis in ICC tournaments remains abysmal; winning only three out of 17 matches with all three victories coming in Champions Trophy matches.

Mahmood believes that Pakistan does not have a shortage of talent within the squad, which is why Pakistan should not be written off either.

"Regardless of current form, the fact is that Pakistan have done very well in the Twenty20 games in the past. In fact, most of the squad chosen for the ICC T20 World Cup such as Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi are players who were part of the squad when Pakistan were top of the ICC Rankings. My point is that this side is no stranger to tough matches and we should expect them to do well in this tournament also, regardless of the opposition. This is exactly why I have high hopes that we will perform well and win our tournament opener against India," he wrote.

Azhar mentioned how flexibility is going to play a huge part if Pakistan wants to stamp its authority over India despite being the underdogs. He said that utilisation of the resources will be key and being open to change the batting order based on the situation can also make a huge impact.

The two titans face-off against each other on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. With all the tickets being sold out within hours after they went on sale, the contest promises the attention it deserves.