‘Fakhar Zaman can win match alone’: former Indian player warns Rohit Sharma’s team

While portraying the Pakistan batting as a feeble lineup, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has warned Rohit Sharma-led Indian team of Fakhar Zaman’s explosive batting which he said could alone win a match.

Kaif said this during an appearance on Star Sports while analysing Pakistan’s potential ahead of the first T20 World Cup 2024 clash with India on June 9. The high-octane game will take place at New York’s Nassau County International Cricket Stadium.

The former batter stated that except for a couple of players, the rest of Pakistan played at a low strike rate. He said Fakhar and Iftikhar Ahmed were quick hitters to be reckoned with.

He said it was an open secret that Pakistan had a weak batting. “Fakhar plays a little fast, (and) if he fires, he can probably win the match alone.”

Kaif said: “Iftikhar (also) plays fast but other than that, everyone plays at a strike rate of 120 to 125. (So) You are not that scared of their batting but (definitely) are scared of their bowling.”

Meanwhile, the cricket commentator showered praise on Pakistani pacers, particularly, reminiscing Naseem Shah’s T20 World Cup 2022 spell against India.

“They will have Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah. Naseem didn’t come to play in the (ODI) World Cup in India as he was injured. But he is fit here (and) this will be a bouncy pitch. Naseem is a very good bowler. If you talk about the Melbourne match that Virat Kohli won, if you see Naseem’s first spell, he got a nick and the catch was dropped at slip,” he said.

Out of seven T20 World Cup encounters, Pakistan have lost five matches while one resulted in a tie with India winning via bowl out. Pakistan won their first T20 WC match under Babar Azam’s captaincy against India in 2021.

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