Legendary Indian batsman Sunial Gavaskar termed Pakistan as “favourite starters” in their high profile World Twenty20 match against arch-rivals in Kolkata on Saturday, saying they have the tempo and familiarity with the conditions.
India’s 47-run loss to New Zealand in World T20 has shaken the favourites as they succumbed to Kiwi spinners, conceding nine of the ten wickets to slow bowlers.
The fact that Pakistan won their first game against Bangladesh by a convincing 55-run margin and the fact that their batting clicked makes them favourites, believes Gavaskar.
“They have won their first match in Kolkata, and they also played a warm-up game there. So, though India are the home side, it is Pakistan who are more aware of the conditions. And it will be an advantage going into Saturday’s match,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
Gavaskar believes that the fact that Pakistan have never beaten in a major World level ICC event will also be a motivation for Shahid Afridi XI.
“The fact that Pakistan have never won against India in any World Cup will act as a motivation for them. They would want to prove a point or two against India. Shahid Afridi and the whole team look hungry to do well,” said the little master.