Azhar Mahmood
Azhar Mahmood. Image- ICC.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood feels India will be favourites going into the clash against Pakistan as they have been in good form leading up to the T20 World Cup.

The arch-rivals are set to clash on October 24 in Dubai for the first game of Group 2 of the Super 12 stage. Pakistan have never defeated India in a T20 World Cup match. Of the 5 matches they have played against each other in the competition over the years, India won four, including the 2007 final, and the other one via bowl out.

The squads of both the teams have been announced by their respective boards.

Babar Azam, Virat Kohli
Babar Azam, Virat Kohli. Image credit: DNA

Azhar Mahmood reckons while India are a tough side, Babar Azam’s men are truly capable of defeating Virat Kohli’s team.

“It will be a tough match as India is playing really well and they will have an edge over Pakistan. However, if Pakistan team clicks, I’m sure we can beat India,” Azhar  Mahmood told website ‘Cricket Pakistan’.

Azhar Mahmood shares his views on Pakistan’s T20 World Cup squad

Earlier this week, the PCB named their 15 players plus 3 travelling reserves for the showpiece event. Springing up a surprise, Pakistan included 23-year-old Azam Khan in the side, who has just played 3 T20Is.

They left out senior opener Fakhar Zaman and veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik from the squad, although the former is one of the three reserves.

Azhar Mahmood, who played 143 ODIs and 21 Tests, feels that Zaman, who has been a regular part of the side over the past four years, should have been in the main squad, while Malik, he feels, would have added the experience in a slightly young, inexperienced contingent.

Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman. (Credits: Twitter)

“In my opinion, Fakhar Zaman should have been in the squad. In the middle-order, Shoaib Malik should have been selected as he has been performing really well in the recent past. He did well in the PSL and leagues around the world. You definitely need experience in this sort of situation,” he said.

The 46-year-old, however, welcomed the recall of Asif Ali and Khushdil Shah, who have been added for their “tremendous talent and prowess” as middle-order batters as Pakistan look for impactful performers in the middle and death overs.

“The good thing is that they have recalled Asif [Ali] and Khushdil [Shah] as they are impact players in the middle-order,” the England based former cricketer added.

Pakistan’s 15-man squad: Babar Azam (C), Shadab Khan (VC), Asif Ali, Azam Khan, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood

Travelling reserves: Usman Qadir, Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani

Also Read: 3 Reasons Why Yuzvendra Chahal Deserved A Place In India’s Squad For T20 World Cup