Former India and Pakistan captains Sunil Gavaskar and Wasim Akram both felt that there will be no clear favourite between the two teams when they meet on October 24 in their opening match of the 2021 T20 World Cup.
While many have touted India to be favourites to win the match considering they have never lost to Pakistan in an ICC tournament, Gavaskar said that the nature of the T20 format is such that anything is possible.
“Nothing is too difficult in T20 cricket. In Test matches you can say stuff like the attack not being good enough or the pitches not being to a certain team’s strengths but not for T20 cricket. So I don’t look at either team as a favourite. The team that handles the pressure well on the day, the team that can control its mistakes, like no balls, can do well,” Gavaskar said on Salaam Cricket 2021.
“We hear players saying they want to improve things that are in their control. No balls are in your control. First of all you are giving a run away, maybe you might even take a wicket,” said the batting great, who was the first player to reach 10,000 runs in any format of international cricket.
Gavaskar took the example of Shimron Hetmyer being dismissed off a no-ball in the second qualifier of the recently concluded 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).
“The other day we saw Shimron Hetmyer being dismissed off a no ball and then he came back and he ended up hitting two or three sixes. Catches will be dropped, batsmen can be dismissed to straight balls, that’s all cricket, but the team that makes lesser mistakes like no-balls will win,” said Gavaskar.
Akram said that T20 matches can be one in moments because of how short the format is.
“In T20s one spell, one innings or something like a run-out can change things. It’s such a short format, there is not too much planning to be done. Pressure will be on both teams. India are a very big team but, on that day, the team that will wins is going to be the one that makes fewer mistakes,” he said.