The arch-rivals will meet at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on October 23 for T20 World Cup match
Former Pakistan batter Younis Ahmed has declared Pakistan as the favorite for the match against India in the ICC T20 World Cup.
The arch-rivals will meet at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on October 23. Younis, who represented Pakistan in four Test and two ODIs, thinks pacer Shaheen Afridi will be vital.
"Shaheen Afridi's four overs with full rhythm will prove to be the real difference. I am sure Pakistan will give their all against India and beat them," Younis said in an exclusive interview with Cricket Pakistan.
The 74-year-old expressed concern over Shaheen's knee injury and no major update has made everyone worried.
"We all want to see Shaheen fully fit and in full rhythm for this important event. Shaheen Shah Afridi now has the same role that Wasim and Waqar Younis had in the past. The whole world is aware of his skills and he has proved with his performance that he is the best bowler at the moment," he added.
Younis termed the Australian conditions a big test for the Pakistan batters, as they have been playing on slow wickets. He opined that apart from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, no one is capable enough to excel in those conditions.
"Australian pitches are bouncy and hard, where the ball comes faster in the air. Their grounds are also big and runs are not easy to come. We have Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan as a complete package at the moment, apart from them, there is no one else who can perform better on these pitches,"
Younis is impressed with Babar and Rizwan, praising their class.
"Babar Azam is a classy player, it is a pleasure to see him play, the way Mohammad Rizwan plays with him in the power play, it puts pressure on the rival team."
Younis rated New Zealand, Australia, England and South Africa as favorites for the World Cup
On the other hand, Younis slammed selectors for picking players on T20 performances.
"Players are not mature at this age, if they are selected prematurely. In the future, they have to face problems. I discussed this with West Indies legends Vivian Richards and Brian Lara, who also agreed that no one should have been given a chance so early."
"Every Pakistani youth now wants to touch the heights overnight, they are looking for shortcuts, one of the reasons for this is economic problems, this is not the case in other countries, they prefer other formats over T20 cricket," he added.