We are looking to rip through India`s top-order: Gul
Mohali: Speedster Umar Gul on Monday upped the ante ahead of the much-anticipated India-Pakistan World Cup semifinal clash, saying that his side has the edge in bowling attack and would look to rip through the home side`s much vaunted top order to stop them on their tracks.
He said Wednesday`s match would be the battle between India`s batting and Pakistan`s bowling and his side are primed to end the four-match losing streak against their arch-rivals in the World Cup.
"Their (India`s) batting line-up is very strong but our bowling is very good and equally up to the task. (Skipper Shahid) Afridi is the leading wicket-taker. We have a bit of an advantage with our bowling but I am happy with the way the batsmen played in the quarterfinal," Gul told reporters after his team`s two-hour practice session.
"The first three wickets (of India) are very crucial for us. They (India) are depending on the top-three. I am in good form and am looking for these three wickets," said Gul, who has taken 14 wickets so far in the tournament, when asked about the plans of his team to tackle the explosive duo of Tendulkar and Sehwag.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had said that from the perspective of cricket fans, the India-Pakistan match is bigger than the final and Gul agreed with it.
"What he (Dhoni) said must have been not from his side but from the expectations of Indian people. From a player`s perspective, no one would say this is bigger than the final. Our people also feel that we must beat India in each match. So from that perspective, it is a final for us too and we hope we can play well and beat India," Gul said.
"Whether it is a knockout match or a league match, any match against India is a big match always, a high-pressure match. The last time we played here, we chased 327 but it depends on how the wicket behaves. The average good score here will be 270-280," he said.
Pakistan have never won against India in a World Cup tie though they have beaten them at Mohali on previous two occasions, and Gul said history will have no bearing in Wednesday`s match and his side would be looking to end the jinx. "Hopefully, we will play good cricket and try and do what we have not done till now. Semifinal is a big match, big opportunity because both bowlers and batsmen are in good form. So we are hoping for the best," Gul said.
"The team morale is very high. I am hopeful the batting will also click and if we get a similar start like in the quarterfinals, I am sure we will do well," he said.