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The contests between India and Pakistan in todays time are nothing like their battles from the 1990s. Back in the day, the common theme between India and Pakistan cricket used to be Indias batsmen vs Pakistans bowlers; however, over the years, this has changed drastically. While Indias batting and Pakistans bowling still remain strong, the team two teams have worked on the other aspects as well.
With India and Pakistan no longer playing against each other frequently, players arent familiar as to what they are going to be dealing with. And because of it, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels that the surprise factor will garner a lot of attention on Sunday when India and Pakistan open their T20 World Cup campaign at the Dubai International Stadium.
While both teams are packed with impactful cricketers, Akram feels one India bowler, in particular, can cause difficulty to Pakistan is Varun Chakravarthy. Indias mystery spinner has featured in three T20Is and picked up 18 wickets in IPL 2021. The fact that Pakistan has hardly seen Chakravarthy operate will make the off-spinner favourite to get a spot in Indias Playing XI on Sunday.
"Pakistan will have a problem with young off-spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Pakistan wouldnt have seen a lot of him. I would suggest they sit and have a look at him… what he bowls. If he comes into the Playing XI, he can trouble them, especially in the middle-order," Akram said on the Salaam Cricket Show organised by Sports Tak.
Akram listed his four picks for reaching the semi-final of the T20 World Cup, in which he holds India the strongest contenders. “One threat cannot be a threat. But as I said, the team I feel can win, India is No. 1 there. Second is West Indies, which is a very dangerous team,” added Akram.
"It doesnt matter if theyve lost four wickets or six, they will keep hitting. They have a lot of experience. They havent even added Sunil Narine which is very strange. Pakistan to have a chance of reaching the semi-final and also England."