India and Pakistan once had a rivalry where India was on a winning streak. Even though it was regarded as a “blockbuster” and “high-octane” match, India’s overwhelming advantage over Pakistan turned their match into a one-sided rivalry, especially in World Cup encounters. But recently—at least over the past year—the situation has changed, and according to former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi, it’s all because of the team’s current tactic, which is being directed by Babar Azam.
Pakistan had only won seven ODIs and five T20Is against India before October of last year when the World Cup began. India also had an advantage in head-to-head matches at the Asia Cup. However, Pakistan won its first World Cup match against India at the 2021 T20 World Cup. Additionally, Pakistan managed to defeat India twice in the 2022 Asia Cup over the past twelve months.
Afridi highlighted to Samaa TV that under MS Dhoni’s leadership, India’s strategy and attitude toward Pakistan had changed. Afridi said that India had started to exclude Pakistan to compete against Australia, England, and South Africa because of their supremacy in head-to-head matches. He believes that things are altering, though, as a result of Pakistan’s altered strategy.
He said, “Agar aap India ke team ko uthake dekhe, pichle kuch aarse main, Dhoni ke daur me agar aap dekhe toh unhone aapni approach ko change kardiya. Unhone Pakistan team ko…woh joh Pakistan-India hota tha woh khatam kardiya tha. Kyunki woh continuous jeetein jaa rahein the. Unhone soch badli apne, unhone Australia, England, South Africa…uss level pe unke jo top batsmen the unhone unke saath muqabla karna shuru kardiya tha. Unhone Pakistan ko, sorry to say, side main rakh diya tha. Par aab woh cheez wapas aa rahein hain and of course wapas ayegi. Approach bohot important he to decide aap apne aap ko kis level me rakhna chahatein hain.”
On October 23, Pakistan will play India for the first time in Melbourne as they prepare for the 2022 T20 World Cup.