ISLAMABAD: Batting great Zaheer Abbas feels that considering India’s recent dismal show in Australia, Pakistan has a golden chance this time to break the jinx of not beating the defending champions in a World Cup match.
Pakistan could never win against arch rivals India in the last five meetings of the World Cup.
They play against each other in their campaign opener in a potentially high voltage contest on February 15 at Adelaide oval.
“I think Australia, New Zealand and South Africa will make it to the semifinals. The fourth team will be either India or Pakistan. Hence, the first match is very crucial and it will be really a high voltage contest,” Abbas said.
He said “Pakistan could never win against India in a World Cup but they have a golden chance to break that jinx this time.
I have seen India’s performance in Australia and their first practice match against the hosts, so I can say that. I hope that Pakistan can find their team combination right as the injury list is growing day by day,” Cricket Country reported.
He said that India, being the defending champion, will be under more pressure than Pakistan.
“India are the defending champions, so there will be more pressure on them to perform as compared to Pakistan,” said the 67-year-old Abbas who was the first batsman to score three consecutive ODI centuries in 1982-83 and that too against India.
Abbas said that India has an experienced team while Pakistan is a young side and they have to give their best in the very first match.
Pakistan was hit hard by injuries. After pace bowler Junaid Khan, all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez is also out of the World Cup due to injury.
“World cup is a different tournament and they will do well as they (India) have experience of winning the trophy.
I can only say that handling the pressure will be the key as far as India-Pakistan match is concerned,” he added.