“In 2011, India won, but there is always an…”: Wasim Akram Warns Indian Team Before ODI World Cup 2023

As the ICC Cricket World Cup approaches, the excitement and anticipation are reaching new heights for cricket fans worldwide. For India, the upcoming tournament holds even more significance as they have the chance to end their long wait for an ICC silverware, and what better place to do it than on home soil?

India has come close to winning the World Cup in recent editions, showcasing awe-inspiring cricket in both the 2015 and 2019 tournaments. However, their dreams were shattered in the semifinals, leaving them with heartbreak. This time, with Rohit Sharma leading the side and Rahul Dravid guiding them as the coach, India has a golden opportunity to rewrite their World Cup history.

Playing at home can be a double-edged sword, as Wasim Akram, the legendary Pakistani fast bowler, rightly points out. The immense support and passion of the home crowd can be a driving force, but it also brings the burden of added pressure. India’s clash against Pakistan, scheduled at the Narendra Modi Stadium, is undoubtedly one of the most-anticipated matches of the tournament, and the expectations from both sides will be sky-high.

India boasts a formidable bowling lineup, with Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah leading the pace attack, complemented by excellent spinners like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. However, Akram warns that India must keep Bumrah’s fitness in check, as his presence can make a significant difference. With good all-rounders in their ranks, India has the firepower to challenge any team.

“Of course… India has Mohammed Shami, who is very impressive and is bowling like a dream, but Bumrah needs to remain fit. I don’t know his situation in terms of fitness, but if he is fine, it will make a huge difference. Besides, they have really good spinners and all-rounders like Jadeja and Ashwin; let’s see who plays. There have been some good players from India, but the home ground has certain disadvantages. In 2011, India won, but there is always an extra added pressure. Same with Pakistan. If they were the hosts, the pressure would be on them. Vice-versa,” Akram said on Radio Haanji.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan’s campaign will contrast, with all their matches scheduled across four venues. Initially, the PCB expressed concerns about the schedule and requested venue changes, but Akram believes players should focus on their game rather than the locations. Regardless of the venue, players must be mentally prepared to give their best on the field.

“See, I said this earlier as well. I must play if I am asked to play on a certain date and venue. Be it Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kolkata, or Mumbai. This does not affect players. So play and don’t worry about it,” added Akram.

As the teams gear up for the World Cup, the cricketing world awaits an epic clash between India and Pakistan. Both sides will be under immense pressure, but the team that can handle it better will come out on top.

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