ODI WORLD CUP

Pakistan has batters that can compete with India’s premier players.

India vs Pakistan

Mohammad Yousuf, a former captain of the Pakistan cricket team who played in 288 one-day internationals and 90 tests, has worked with the majority of the young batters both in his capacity as his nation’s batting coach and in his continued capacity as a consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Yousuf, 49, spoke to The Telegraph on the World Cup contest against India.Excerpts:

Q: Any favourites for Saturday’s match after Pakistan lost to India in the Asia Cup recently?

This kind of win and loss will persist given how much cricket is played these days. One shouldn’t make too much of it and should instead anticipate the difficulties that lie ahead. The winner is whoever plays best on that particular day. No team should count on winning the game. In a matchup between two evenly matched teams, there is no favorite. You can claim that one team has a maximum advantage of 55-45. A World Cup defeat does not necessarily imply that your campaign is over; you can still recover and advance to the knockout stages.

Q: How much does pressure affect players in such a high-profile contest?

Nerves do play a significant part… If I said it wasn’t there, I’d be lying. There is always pressure, and the person who manages it best prevails. Those who claim that once we enter the field, it’s just another game and we have no feelings are not accurately portraying our feelings… Pakistan scored more than 300 (338) runs in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. India was put under a great deal of pressure, and they crumbled.

Q: What are the strengths of Pakistan?

If you look at the past two years, you will see that our team is fairly balanced. They have been remarkably reliable. Though Naseem Shah’s death is a serious setback, I have complete faith in Afridi and the rest. These men’ resilience is demonstrated by the way they recover after being written off.

Q: What makes Babar special?

Babar is talented, and has the temperament to achieve. He has been scoring runs for a cause. When one of these factors comes together inside of a person, greatness is attained. Just one thing, please. Since the introduction of two new balls in 2010 and fielding limits, it is impossible to compare batting. Shubman Gills average is 66, compared to Sachin’s 45. What would you rate the two at?

Q: Will it be a contest between India’s batting versus Pakistan’s bowling?

I have no idea how this view gained acceptance… Two batters from Pakistan are also ranked in the top 10. To get there, they too have scored runs. Since the time of Saeed Anwar and Inzamam-ul Haq, Pakistan’s batting has consistently been strong.Take a look at the hundreds that Anwar scored against India. Take a look at how they handled the difficulty in their previous game!

Q: Does playing at home weigh on the host team?

In 2011, India won. However, due of the expectations, there is pressure on the players. This holds true for both Pakistan and India.

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