Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar has said that he wishes India and Pakistan to play the final of the tournament in the UAE. Pakistan have sealed their spot in the semi-finals, whereas India are dependent on Afghanistan’s win against New Zealand on Sunday and need to beat Namibia on Monday, November 8.
India had a horrendous start to the tournament. They lost to Pakistan in their opening game for the first time in the history of the T20 World Cups since its inaugural edtion in 2007. Then they lost to New Zealand exactly a week later at the same venue.
These losses had an impact on their Net Run Rate (NRR) as they lost both the games by significant margins (10 and 8 wickets respectively). The Men In Blue came back strongly against the Mohammad Nabi-led Afghanistan and Scotland, winning against both the teams by huge margins to leapfrog their NRR past Afghanistan and New Zealand.
Despite the two emphatic wins India are forced to rely on the match between Afghanistan and New Zealand on Sunday, October 7. An Afghanistan defeat will see New Zealand join Pakistan in the final four and make India's match on Monday a dead rubber.
Amid all the intense battle between teams, Shoaib Akhtar has wished for a India versus Pakistan final on November 14.
“If you beat Scotland, you top the group. You shouldn’t worry about which team you could play against. Yes, I do have a wish, as I said earlier, that why play just one match against India? Why not play the final? And a final between India and Pakistan is possible,” Akhtar said.
“In my opinion, India have a fair amount of chance. It now depends on whether Afghanistan can bring India back in semifinal reckoning or not.”
The 46-year-old added that Pakistan shouldn't worry about their opponent in the final and just focus on beating Scotland to finish on top of Group 2 points table.
“Many people are saying that New Zealand should beat Afghanistan to knock India out of the tournament. I cannot speak on the behalf of New Zealand. I only hope that Pakistan top the Group 2 chart. We shouldn’t worry about the rest of the outcomes," Akhtar concluded.