Pak bowlers must find a way to sort out Yuvraj
Former pace legend Wasim Akram feels Pakistan needs to bowl intelligently to Yuvraj Singh and get rid off him as early as possible during their high-voltage World Cup semifinal in Mohali on Wednesday.
Yuvraj who has won four man of the match awards so far has scalped 11 wickets at 24.63 apiece and scored 341 runs at a staggering average of 113.66 in the World Cup so far and Akram feels Pakistan needs to stop him if they hope to reach the finals.
"Yuvraj has shown great attitude. He is eager to play long knocks and he has converted good starts to 50`s and a century. Yuvraj has understood the virtue of being consistent and trust me, he is only going to get better. Unfortunately, that is not good news for Pakistan," Akram told a cricket website.
"Shahid Afridi and team will have to bowl intelligently to him. They will have to stop his run-flow and that`s the only way I think Yuvraj can be stopped," he added.
The 44-year-old former skipper also heaped praise on India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, describing him judicious and smart.
"MS Dhoni`s captaincy has been judicious and smart. I admire his horses-for-courses methods and the decision to leave out Yusuf Pathan and retain Suresh Raina was a great move. It is never easy to drop a match-winner like Pathan but Raina`s partnership with Yuvraj proved to be decisive against the Aussies.
"Now, you don`t know whether he will play Raina or Pathan in the next match. So, Dhoni has created doubt in the mind of the opposition think-tank. He is keeping everybody guessing. That`s smart, indeed!," he added.
Akram also backed the hosts` bowlers, who have been the weak link for India.
"I think the Indian bowlers are doing pretty well. Restricting Australia to 260 was no mean task. Zaheer, Ashwin everybody are doing their jobs and the attack has a lot of variety," said the former seamer, who took 502 and 414 wickets in one-dayers and Tests respectively.
"Zaheer has been bowling well since the last two years but in this World Cup, he has been unplayable at times. Zaheer`s length is perfect, he is coming around the wicket and bowling well. For a left-hander to come around the wicket means Zaheer has got a lot of confidence," he added.
Wasim feels India would be in immense pressure against Pakistan since they are the hosts.
"India will be the team under pressure, not Pakistan. The media in India is big and strong. The pressure created by them is simply mind-boggling and then there are a billion people with massive expectations," he said.
"The fact that Pakistan is playing away from home is an advantage. Given the high security at Mohali, the Pak team has been largely confined to its practice sessions and the hotel. Hence, there will be no dearth in focus."