March 19, 2016

Wasim Akram underplayed Mohammad Amir’s threat in the India-Pakistan ICC World Twenty20 match tomorrow but backed Pakistan to defeat the hosts is skipper Shahid Afridi manages to stay calm in front of a packed Eden Gardens.

Afridi was taken apart by several people back home including former captain Javed Miandad for saying that the Pakistan team has got more affection here than from home fans.

“Afridi is a positive sort of person; he is very aggressive. If he is calm, the whole team is calm. The Pakistan team will win if they are all calm. The players should go out and enjoy themselves and play according to the plan,” Akram told Sports Today.

Akram said all of Pakistan needed to support Afridi the captain despite his recent poor record as captain. They failed to beat India and Bangladesh in the Asia Cup T20, failing to reach the final.

“We have to support Afridi as a captain. I believed in the Pakistan team because I know they can perform. “They (Pakistan) need to enjoy the atmosphere,” Akram said. The Sultan of Swing said the Pakistan players would know they were doing a great job if the Eden crowd remained silent. Akram, meanwhile, did not think Amir would be a big threat for India tomorrow. The 23-year-old pacer had rocked India in the Asia Cup match in Dhaka on a green surface before a Virat Kohli masterclass ensured an Indian victory.

“Wickets in Bangladesh were different. They were seaming tracks. Every fast bowler looked unplayable there. This is a different ball-game because the pitch at Eden Gardens is flat. “There should be a little pressure on the openers in the first one or two overs but they will be okay after that,” Akram said.


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