Pakistan start as favourites against India: Gavaskar

Published March 18, 2016
India have never lost to Pakistan in a world event while Pakistan have never lost to the hosts at the Eden Gardens. — AP/File
India have never lost to Pakistan in a world event while Pakistan have never lost to the hosts at the Eden Gardens. — AP/File

NEW DELHI: Former captain and legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday picked Pakistan as the favourites against India in the marquee match of the ICC World T20 to be played at the Eden Gardens on Saturday.

India, who were the overwhelming favourites to win the title before the start of the mega event, were humbled by New Zealand in their opening match while Pakistan pummeled Bangladesh in their opener.

“After the loss to New Zealand, India will be under far more pressure against Pakistan. I feel Pakistan start as favourites for the game on Saturday,” Gavaskar told NDTV.

Gavaskar said the highly awaited match will be about Indian batting versus Pakistan bowling as usual.

“It is still pretty much Indian batting versus Pakistan bowling. However, with the way Indian bowlers have performed recently, they also won’t be easy to tackle either.

“Ashwin (Ravichandran) is bowling well and so is Nehra (Ashish), ever since he has made a comeback. Then you have Jasprit Bumrah. So it will be a test for Pakistani batsman.

“Having said that, it only takes an over and half to turn the game around in T20,” said the former India captain.

Left-arm pacer Mohammad Amir posed problems for India in the Asia Cup and Gavaskar hoped the Indian batsmen have learnt how to face him early on.

“Hopefully Rohit (Sharma) and others know that unlike many other left arm pacers, Amir has the ability to swing the ball back. Rohit and Rahane were found wanting against him in Asia Cup, so they have to careful for the first couple of overs,” he added.

For the record, India have never lost to Pakistan in a world event while Pakistan have never lost to the hosts at the Eden Gardens.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2016

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