Former India captain and the current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was confident that India will continue its unbeaten record against Pakistan at ICC global events when the two teams meet in their first match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday.
The two arch rivals and former champions will open their respective bids for a second T20 World Cup title. History is on India’s side, having never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup event across the 50-over and 20-over format.
“Yes there is a huge possibility of 13-0 happening and India extending their unbeaten streak against Pakistan in this World Cup,” Ganguly said during an interview for ABP News’ Vishwa Vijeta Dubai Conclave 2021.
“All the players in this Indian team are genuine match winners and fingers crossed, this team can finally end our 10 years wait of winning a World Cup,” he added.
Ganguly’s belief was backed by former captains Kapil Dev and Mohammad Azharuddin, who were also present at the event along with several former Pakistan cricketers.
“I would say India are clear favourites as they have just come out playing a competitive IPL in the same venues so they would have an edge over Pakistan,” Azharuddin said.
Kapil Dev believed pacer Jasprit Bumrah will be the key factor in the match. “As a bowler, I want Bumrah to rule the tournament. I want him to step forward, take the responsibility of taking wickets and winning the tournament for India, become the player of the tournament. Bumrah has got the X factor and he will be decisive in the India-Pakistan game,” he said.
Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan said that presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian dressing room as team mentor will also be instrumental.
“When you have a player like MS Dhoni in the dressing room, as an opponent you always dread that. Even before in our games, Dhoni has been a big factor, he has the ability to calm the environment and in a high-pressure game that is a huge bonus. Dhoni has won many titles and as a mentor he will be a huge plus for India in the World Cup,” he was quoted as saying.
“From Pakistan point of view, I am hoping that 5-0 record in T20 world cup will become 5-1. India Pakistan is a high-pressure match and only those who are able to deliver in such scenarios go on to become legends of the game,” Khan added.
Pakistan has never beaten India at a World Cup but most recently, beat the Indian team in the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017. Both India (2007) and Pakistan (2009) are former champions in the World T20 and have played plenty of cricket in UAE thanks to IPL and PSL.
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