India, Pak joint favourites for T20 WC
Former Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has backed both India and defending champions Pakistan as favourites to lift the ICC World T20 Championship, starting April 30 in the West Indies.
Akram said both the sub-continental giants have the talent and passion to take home the coveted silverware.
"Australia and South Africa are also capable of winning but the nature of the West Indies pitches make Pakistan and India favourites, because they will help sub-continent spinners," The Daily Times quoted Akram, as saying.
He said that since the Pakistani team has not played much international cricket in the recent past, it has the hunger to do well.
"Pakistan have been starved of cricket, so they have the thirst to win the title again," Akram said.
He pointed that Pakistan has got a fighter in skipper Shahid Afridi, who possess the aggression needed at the international stage.
"You need someone like Afridi as captain in Twenty20 cricket. He has aggression needed in a leader and in a short Twenty20 match he will always sparkle," Akram said.
He said the Pakistan squad has a number of talented players who can rise to the occasion and create trouble for even the best teams in the world.
"Look at the available talent, Afridi can single-handedly win a Twenty20 match as he is equally lethal with bat and ball, and then the depth in bowling makes Pakistan favourites," said the former pacer, who is regarded as one of greatest swing bowlers of all time.
Speaking about India`s chances, Akram said: "What I have seen is a remarkable passion in the Indian players as well as in the public to win this title, and they too have a very good team."
Akram said that a final between the 2007 champions India and the defending champions Pakistan is what he is looking forward for.
"You cannot rule out an Indo-Pak final, which will do a world of good for international cricket," he said.