Ex-Pakistani Speedster Questions Indian Team Composition Ahead of ODI World Cup Clash
Ex-Pakistani Speedster Questions Indian Team Composition Ahead of ODI World Cup Clash

NEW DELHI: In a fiery pre-Asia Cup clash, former Pakistani speedster Shoaib Akhtar has raised serious questions about the composition of the Indian cricket team as they gear up to take on Pakistan in the Super Four stage at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo this coming Sunday.

Under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, the Indian side is eager to secure their first win in this pivotal stage of the Asia Cup. However, concerns loom large over their squad's overall effectiveness.

The batting department has come under scrutiny, particularly after the previous encounter with Pakistan in Kandy, where India's top-order faced a stern test against the formidable Pakistani trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf. Although rain prevented the Indian seamers from having a go in their last outing, doubts persist about the chosen squad, most of whom are likely to feature in the upcoming ODI World Cup.

Both Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and chief selector Ajit Agarkar have expressed unwavering confidence in their selection, believing that the 15-man Indian squad is more than capable of clinching the World Cup title. Sharma emphasized that the team has covered all bases, boasting four seam-bowling options, two spinners, and batting depth extending down to the eighth position, a combination they favor.

However, Shoaib Akhtar, the former Pakistani pacer, offers a contrasting perspective. He contends that India lacks a settled squad, pointing out that neither their batting nor their bowling has displayed stability over the past two years. Akhtar expressed his perplexity, stating, "I don't know why I have this feeling that India could not pick its final eleven for the past two years. I don't feel the team is settled because now you all have injuries, three or four people have been replaced, and your squad seems unsettled. It's a strange thing for me that the squad doesn't seem settled. We still don't know who are the four main batsmen and who will bat at No. 5. Will Virat bat at No. 3 or 4?" Akhtar made these remarks during a virtual press conference organized by Star Sports.

Akhtar didn't hold back in his criticism of India's squad selection, suggesting that they made a significant blunder by omitting leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh from their World Cup roster. Despite his reservations, Akhtar believes that Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli possess the ability to rise to the occasion and will be key figures for India if they are to succeed in the upcoming World Cup.

With the ODI World Cup looming on the horizon, scheduled to kick off on October 5, India will commence their campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai. The cricketing world eagerly awaits the answers to the questions raised by Shoaib Akhtar as India strives to assemble a winning combination for the ultimate cricketing challenge.

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