‘Pakistan, India will qualify for semi-finals’

Indian batsman Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring a century (left) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam celebrates after scoring a hundred against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Photo: AFP
Indian batsman Rohit Sharma raises his bat after scoring a century (left) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam celebrates after scoring a hundred against New Zealand in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Photo: AFP

India and Pakistan will be two out of the four teams that will qualify for the semi-finals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, says former Pakistan cricketer and commentator Bazid Khan. 

In a video uploaded by the ICC on its official YouTube account, Bazid offered his insight into why the two teams will reach the last four stage of the tournament. 

“My reason [for selecting Pakistan as a semi-finalist] is because Pakistan plays excellent T20 cricket in the UAE,” he said. “The [UAE] conditions suit them a lot. Here, don’t expect a 200 vs 200 game,” he added. 

Khan said that in a game where each side, on average, scores around 160-170 runs, Pakistan “plays its best cricket”. 

“Their bowlers also know how to bowl exceptionally well in the UAE by bowling cutters and the spinners know how to bowl stump-to-stump. They have perfected all of this,” he noted. 

Bazid said that matches in the UAE are usually not high-scoring ones, hence the power-hitting factor will also be nullified. 

He then said that the reason India would qualify for the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup is that similar to Pakistan, the Men in Blue also do not favour high-scoring games. 

“India also has a bit of an issue when it comes to power hitting. They also rely on spinners and the pitches there will suit them [Indian spinners]. So the 160-170-run target will also suit them,” he added. 

Bazid Khan said the third team to make the semi-finals will be England since they have “a lot of depth in the squad” and have “almost perfected” white-ball cricket. 

He said England is a strong contender for the World Cup as members of the team knew how to win in any kind of situation. “Conditions in the UAE will be a bit tough for them, but in my opinion, they will master them and definitely qualify for the semi-finals,” he added. 

He said that the West Indies will also qualify for the T20 World Cup, adding that they were a “dynamic team” that had plenty of power hitters who could change the game within two to three overs. 

“You can never write them off,” he said. “Knocking them out of the round stages will be next to impossible,” he added. 

Speaking about his “dream final”, Bazid Khan said it would be India vs Pakistan but said that the fixture would cause “too much tension”. 

Instead, he said, the two teams that play the final will be Pakistan and the West Indies, adding that the former will win the trophy while the latter will finish as runners-up. 

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