T20 WC: Wasim Akram on Indo-Pak clash. Photograph:( AFP )
T20 World Cup: Former Pakistan speedster Wasim Akram downplayed India's head-to-head record versus the Men in Green in mega events ahead of the upcoming face-off.
India and Pakistan are set to meet each other in the main draw of the T20 World Cup 2021, in the UAE, as the two neighbouring countries will open their respective campaigns in the showpiece event by locking horns at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai on Sunday (October 24).
The two sides will meet after two years as the 2019 ODI World Cup face-off was their last encounter against each other. Virat Kohli-led India will start as favourites as India have an unbeaten record versus Pakistan in World Cups (both ODIs and T20Is). In the 50-over mega event, India lead Pakistan 7-0 whereas they are 5-0 ahead in T20 WC history.
However, Pakistan's former speedster and legendary player Wasim Akram downplayed India's dominance over Pakistan in WCs. Speaking at Salaam Cricket 2021 in Dubai, Akram said it's only job of a statistician to keep numbers in mind, however, players will remain focused on the task ahead of them when they step out on 22-yard cricket strip. "I have done my homework. Yes, at the World Cups, we haven't beaten India but we have won more matches when we take into account the overall record. But yeah, I have played 5 World Cups but we haven't beaten India yet," Akram said.
"But when you head into a World Cup, you don't note these things. That's the job of a statistician. But as a player, it doesn't bother me or any Pakistan or Indian player as well. In the World Cups, every match matters. Every team is there to win the World Cup. Yes, the India-Pakistan game is very crucial. It's the biggest game of the tournament. Players are feeling a bit of pressure. But once the game starts, you get on with the game and you forget everything else. You start thinking about how to focus on the game," he added.
India and Pakistan last met each other in the shortest format during the 2016 T20 WC edition, where MS Dhoni-led Men in Blue thrashed Pakistan by 6 wickets. Both sides are placed in Pool B this time around, which also includes New Zealand, Afghanistan, Scotland whereas one among Ireland and Namibia will also join the group.