“Like Mahabharat…”: Pakistan Great On Hype In World Cup Game vs India, Explains Why His Team Will Be ‘Lonely’

The India vs Pakistan World Cup 2023 match on October 14 has generated huge interest among the fans and officials. The arch-rivals face off against each other only in multi-team events and their encounter is closely followed. The tickets released so far for the India vs Pakistan clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, has been sold out all ready. For the fans from both side, the match becomes a matter of prestige.  Playing at home, and with intense media scrutiny, will put the Indian cricket team under a lot of pressure in the upcoming World Cup, feels former Pakistan pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar.

Akhtar added the stage is set perfectly for Pakistan, the No. 1 ODI side, to lift the trophy and give the country something to cheer about amid the serious economic situation.

India’s performance in ICC events has left much to be desired as they have yet to win a world title since the 2013 Champions Trophy triumph under MS Dhoni.

“Pakistan’s going to be all lonely there (in India). Having said that, they will be under no pressure. Playing at home, in front of own crowd, all the pressure will be on India; we will do better,” Akhtar said during a virtual press conference organised by Star Sports.

“All the stadiums will be packed, and more than two billion people will be following the live action on TV or social media and what not.

The Indian media will put an incredible amount of pressure on Pakistan, they will build it up like Mahabharata. They will already declare India as the winners… that’s an uncalled amount of pressure to have ahead of the game.

“(But) Rohit Sharma and India are going to face a lot of pressure because of that.” India will take on Pakistan in the most-anticipated World Cup clash in Ahmedabad on October 14.

But before that, they will clash in the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup on Sunday, and may also head for a possible title showdown on September 17.

Akhtar said Pakistan will have the advantage as all the attention will be on the home team.

“Pakistan, on the other hand, will be all lonely with only 15 members there, sticking together. (I) will tell them to play ‘without fear’.” Akhtar added he had an intuition that this World Cup will go to Pakistan.

“Why this World Cup is so important for us, because it will be special playing in India and winning in India. I don’t know, I may be wrong… but this stage is being set for an India-Pakistan final and particularly for Pakistan.

“I will be praying that the Pakistan team wins because we are struggling with economic reforms, and our critical financial situation. This is the only thing that can lift the nation… if we lift the World Cup in India and before that the Asia Cup,” he said.

With PTI inputs

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