India is scheduled to play a high voltage match against their old rival Pakistan on 15 February at Adelaide. Legendary Sunil Gavaskar and Ian Chappel have tipped India as the favourite to win the much-awaited match. They believe that Indian players have better acclimatisation to Australian conditions that can play a pivotal role in crunch moments of the match.
Also seeing the past records, everything goes in the favour of defending champions. India have beaten Pakistan in all five occasions in the World Cup matches – 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2011. Both the former cricket players said that the Pakistan is unlikely to break the jinx this time too.
Gavaskar said that both the teams are entering the tournament as struggling teams. Both of them have performed miserably in their recent past. Pakistan lost to New Zealand in the practice match in similar conditions. In addition, absence of Saeed Ajmal has increased the woes for Pakistan. He compared Ajmal to the legendary Muttiah Muralitharan in his prime form which can take wickets as well as can restrict run rate. Thus, he believes that the old rival has nothing much to offer against Indian side.
Former Australian captain Ian Chappel agreed with the Gavaskar and said India is likely to win the match as they are better adapted to Australian conditions. He also addressed Team India’s poor form and said India is likely to improve the history as the neighbour suffers from lack of match winners like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq when they won 1992 World Cup.
While pointing to ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar he said that this will be the first match without his appearance. Sachin has won three man of the match awards in five matches played between India and Pakistan. Chappel said India will desperately miss the presence of the master blaster on the field but still Indian side has depth in their batting with the likes of Kohli, Rohit and Dhoni.