T20 World Cup 2022: India or Pakistan? Shoaib Akhtar predicts winner of the high-voltage clash

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Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to face each other once again in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2022. The high-voltage clash between the neighbouring nations will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday (October 23).

Notably, when the two sides last met in October last year, Babar Azam’s Pakistan managed to turn the tables and thrashed the Men in Blue by 10 wickets at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. After restricting India to a score of 151/7, skipper Babar and his opening partner Mohammad Rizwan gunned down the target with more than two overs to spare as Pakistan won the contest by 10 wickets.

Now, once again, both sides are set to lock horns, and ahead of the mouthwatering clash, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar has made his prediction for the blockbuster match. The right-arm quick mentioned that it’s always hard to predict the result of the two biggest rivals, but if India manages to pick the right combination, then they have a good chance to overshadow the Babar Azam-led team.

“India cannot go about and select a random team against Pakistan without defining their roles. I think, the management should select the team carefully, and I fully believe it will be a solid team. It won’t be a walkover for Pakistan this time around,” said Akhtar, as quoted by Sportskeeda.

“If India pick the right squad for the tournament, then they have a very good chance of beating Pakistan. They are absolutely even teams at the moment, so it is very difficult to predict a result,” he stated.

Akhtar also observed that it would be better for Pakistan if they bat first and set a formidable target for India to chase down in their upcoming World Cup encounter at the MCG. Further, the Rawalpindi Express also admitted that the iconic venue in Melbourne is likely to be filled with more Indian supporters than Pakistan’s.

“The wicket at the MCG plays quite well. Bowling second would be ideal for Pakistan to win the match against India. There will be a crowd of 100,000, out of which 70,000 will be supporting India, so the pressure will be on Pakistan,” Akhtar added further.

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