Adelaide: If there is one game-changer in Sunday’s India-Pakistan clash, it has to be Pakistani all-rounder Shahid Afridi.
Sure Virat Kohli can bat India out of trouble, off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin can turn things around in a crisis and Mahendra Singh Dhoni can finish off a game in style, but Afridi can single-handedly do all that and more.
Throw in the fact that this is his last World Cup, and it makes for an all the more potent combination. The man himself realises this. “I know that (this is my last World Cup) but I’m not taking any burden on myself and saying that I will do this or I will do that. I know my limits and will play within that. My strength lies in my power and that’s what I will be focussing on,” Afridi said during a practice session at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.
The 34-year-old batting stalwart and street-smart leg-spinner says he totally understands the significance of his team’s World Cup opener on Sunday, but felt India will have a slight edge having spent more time in Australia in the recent past. “It’s obviously a very important match for not just us but for both teams. India have been here in Australia for three months now, so they will be used to conditions better. We have only just arrived a few days back,” he said, adding however that both teams “evenly balanced sides.”