Pakistans Haider Ali plays a shot during an international match. Photo: AFP
Pakistan’s Haider Ali plays a shot during an international match. Photo: AFP

DUBAI: Aggressive Pakistani batsman Haider Ali will most likely be benched today (Sunday) in the blockbuster India-Pakistan clash today. 

As Pakistan and India both play their first match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup today, both teams will undoubtedly be under immense pressure. 

Pakistan captain Babar Azam, sources say, has decided to go with the more experienced Asif Ali instead of Haider Ali, as far as picking the playing XI is concerned.

Haider Ali’s name was included in the 12-man squad announced by skipper Babar Azam yesterday. 

Pakistan’s likely playing XI for today, according to sources, will be:

Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi. 

Pakistan can beat India, says Kapil Dev

Earlier today, India’s former World Cup winning-captain Kapil Dev said Pakistan is a “dangerous” T20 side that has the potential to beat any team in the world. 

Speaking to ABP News, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain said he didn’t know much about team Pakistan but knew enough to say that “such things” (the dominance of one team over the other) did not matter.

Dev said it was all about handling the pressure in India-Pakistan clashes.

“On the field, such things [which team will dominate] don’t matter. Both teams will be under pressure, thus it will be interesting to see who will handle the pressure well,” Kapil told ABP News.

“Although I don’t know much about them, still I would say that Pakistan is a dangerous team in T20, they can defeat anyone on a given day,” he said.

Dev acknowledged that India is a strong side on paper. However, he added that it all depends on whether or not Kohli’s side will be able to match the rhythm on the field or not.

India and Pakistan have not played each other in over two years. The two South Asian heavyweights last clashed with each other in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, when India came out on top.

Kapil Dev said there will be the “uncertainty” element between the two sides when they meet today.

“Both teams have not played against each other, so surely the uncertainty would be there. The Indian team looks stronger, but Pakistan has a lot of unexpected players. Although I feel India should not be worried about it,” he said.

“The only thing is to perform well under pressure. Pakistan can win this match also if the Indian team is unable to handle the pressure,” Kapil added.

India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam will come face-to-face today in Dubai for the World Cup clash.

The match will start at 7:00pm (PST).

For all of Geo.tv’s latest news, updates and analysis of the T20 World Cup 2021, visit: https://www.geo.tv/t20-worldcup-2021/


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