World Cup 2019: Pakistan must bring their best game out to beat India, says Waqar Younis
Former captain Waqar Younis wants Pakistan to take inspiration from 2017 Champions Trophy victory to register their maiden World Cup win v India
Manchester: Pakistan are looking at the brighter side of their rivalry with India. Though they have yet to win a match against arch-rivals in the World Cup history, having lost all six encounters so far, they are seeking inspiration from their triumph in the Champions Trophy final at The Oval two years ago.
It was a match in which Pakistan for once had outplayed India, to win the title much against the odds. Even now the odds are heavily in favour of India when the two teams clash on Sunday, in the most-awaited match of the tournament.
India, however, need to be at their best and not be complacent for having an unbeaten record against the arch-rivals in the World Cup, as everybody knows the unpredictable Pakistan team has the capability to outplay any opponent, including India, on their day.
Motivation to do well
Former Pakistan paceman Waqar Younis feels that Pakistan will have to take inspiration from that Champions Trophy win and bring out their best game to overcome India who have yet to lose a match in the tournament, with wins over South Africa and Australia and a washout against New Zealand. "I hope they [Pakistan] have got their best game in the locker for India, who showed against Australia that they are a very fine side," Younis said.
"It's simple, if Pakistan want to stay in the fray, they have to bring an 'A plus' performance and win that game. There is no other option for them," he added. Younis also feels that what has happened in the past World Cups will have no bearing on the match and he hopes that Pakistan will take it as another game and not take pressure on themselves.
'Past record won't matter'
"Pakistan's track record is very mixed, but that's all gone. That's all history. It's a new game, a new day. They have got to take positives out of what they did to India in the final of the Champions Trophy a couple of years ago. They must go into the game with self-belief and confidence," Younis said.
With the weather forecast being uncertain in Manchester over the week-end, with spells of light showers and sunshine, it goes without saying that the elements will play a big role in a match which has a potential TV viewership worldwide of over one billion.
Younis who formed a lethal new ball pair with Wasim Akram feels that much of Pakistan's chances will rest on their pace bowlers striking early, like they had done in the Champions Trophy final. Everybody knows that India rely heavily on their top order to deliver and with injured Shikhar Dhawan not available, there in a chink in their armour which, according to Younis, Pakistan pace bowlers, especially Mohammad Amir, should exploit. If they allow the top-order to settle down, they will find it tough in controlling the game.
"Amir has bowled superbly. He has shown us all his cutters, variations and short pitched deliveries. I think we all know Amir is mentally very, very strong. He has shown once again that class is permanent — he is no doubt a match-winner for us."
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