People call him India's Inzamam: Shoaib Akhtar names India star who is liked more than Virat Kohli in Pakistan

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Oct 22, 2021, 12:45 PM IST


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Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar recently named an Indian cricket team star who is liked more than Virat Kohli in Pakistan as the two teams get ready to face off in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.

India and Pakistan are all set to lock horns in what promises to be a blockbuster encounter in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. The much-awaited clash will be staged at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai. Billions across the world will be glued to their TV screens when the two teams go up against each other.

India and Pakistan share one of the greatest rivalries in cricketing history and a clash between the two sides is always a high-octane affair with expectations and pressure at an all-time high from both sides. Ahead of their meeting, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar opened up on the rivalry and said Indian cricketers are loved as much in Pakistan as they are in their own country.

Akhtar had a special mention for India's limited-overs vice-captain and star batsman Rohit Sharma, who he feels is liked more than Indian skipper Virat Kohli in Pakistan. The legendary fast bowler, who is an active pundit, said Rohit is known as India's Inzamam-ul-Haq in Pakistan.

“In Pakistan, people like and appreciate Indian cricketers. They praise Virat Kohli, they like Rohit Sharma even more. They call him India’s Inzamam,” Akhtar said on Zee News.

Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif was also part of the discussion panel and picked India as favourites for their clash against Pakistan. While admitting that the result could go either way in a T20 game, Kaif said it will be a shocker for him if Pakistan manages to beat India in Dubai.

“Historically, India has always won these (World Cup) matches. But it depends on how the players perform on match day. The Indian side has an advantage that they just played the IPL in UAE and are accustomed to the conditions. Players are also in form. It would be a shocker if Pakistan wins. Of course, anything can happen in T20, but on paper, India appears to be a much stronger team,” said Kaif.

Akhtar agreed with Kaif's comments and said the result will depend on how players from both sides perform on the given day but he insisted that Pakistan can stun India if they play with courage and execute the right strategy in the high-pressure game.

“Big matches are not won by big players but by big courage. No doubt, India has better players, but with courage and right strategy things could turn out to be different than expected. Also, T20 is a tricky format. It’s going to be a 50-50 game. It will depend on how the players perform on the given day,” said Akhtar.

India have never lost a game against Pakistan in the history of T20 World Cups. The Men in Blue have five wins to their name in five meeting against Pakistan in T20 World Cup history.