Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar wants the World Cup to come back to the subcontinent and hence is backing India to go all the way and clinch the title on July 14 at Lord’s in London.
So far, India have dominated the tournament, topping the ten-team table by winning seven of their eight matches and losing only to hosts and pre-tournament favourites England. India’s game against New Zealand was washed out without a single ball being bowled. Virat Kohli and Co. will take on the same opponent in the semifinal in Manchester on Tuesday.
“New Zealand can’t take pressure. I hope they don’t choke this time. But I really want the World Cup to stay in the subcontinent and I think, I will back India all the way,” Akhtar said in his Youtube channel.
It was all about Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking fifth hundred at Leeds against Sri Lanka on Saturday.
Rohit hit a crisp 103 to help India thrash the Lankans by seven wickets in their final group game to finish with 15 points from 9 games.
Rohit hit the drives, flicks, cuts and pulls with equal elan to register his fifth hundred of the ongoing World Cup — the most by any batsman in a single edition — bettering the record set by former Sri Lanka skipper Kumar Sangakkara in the 2015 World Cup.
“Rohit Sharma has great timing and shot selection. His understanding of the game is also superb. K.L. Rahul also got his ton which is a good thing,” added Akhtar.
Rahul scored 111 to get his maiden World Cup hundred.
Akhtar opined that the net run rate is a cruel thing and Pakistan played better cricket than the Kiwis but failed to go through on this count.
“Pakistan played better than New Zealand. I really thought they would make it but the net run rate is a cruel thing.”
Pakistan finished fifth on 11 points, same as New Zealand, but lost out on inferior net run rate. In 2015, Australia beat New Zealand to win the Cup.