Pakistan legend hails genius Dhoni: Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas expects MS Dhoni to be India’s trump card in 2019 World Cup.
Former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas believes the ‘genius’ of former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be vital for captain Virat Kohli and coach Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the looming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pakistan legend hails genius Dhoni
“India has a genius called Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the team. He is the brain of cricket in the team. He understands the game so well and has experience of leading India in two World Cup wins. His experience will be vital for captain and coach and he can be their trump card,” Abbas was quoted as saying to PTI Bhasha.
“Also, it is the first World Cup under Virat Kohli’s captaincy and he would be eager to prove his mettle as a captain,” Abbas said on Kohli’s playing his first World Cup as a captain.
The 71-year old further opined on India’s strong batting unit coming good for them on batsmen-friendly pitches in England. Referring to the recently concluded Pakistan’s tour of England, Abbas believed that scoring 450 runs could be a possibility in the World Cup.
“We have seen that in the recently-concluded Pakisan-England series that over 300 runs were scored and chased. Now in World Cup, 450 runs could be a possibility as there is no grass on the wickets and bowlers will get little help from the conditions.
“In such a scenario, India will benefit as they have one of the strongest batting line ups. English wickets are now batsmen’s paradise,” Abbas said.
Abbas against changing India’s Top Four
There is no hiding to the fact about India still being confused about their No. 4 batsman. While they will be banking on as many as 3-4 options come the first match against South Africa, Abbas spoke against making frequent changes in the Top four.
“It is purely captain’s decision but my view is that top four batting order shouldn’t be changed frequently. You can make changes in the lower middle order but not at the top,” Abbas further said.
83.20 from 12 innings.. pic.twitter.com/dwAG637dFE
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Being asked about the favourites of 2019 World Cup, Abbas named as many as five countries who he believed could qualify for the semi-finals. “Pakistan, Australia, England and New Zealand are the top contenders for the semi-finals apart from India, according to Abbas.
“Fitness will be the key in this World Cup given the format and the weather in England. I think that the fittest teams will reach the last four,” Abbas added.
On India-Pakistan clash
India and Pakistan taking on each other on June 16 at Old Trafford is doubtlessly going to be the clash of the tournament. Having defeated Pakistan on six occasions in the World Cup previously, India maintain their unbeaten spree against their arch-rivals.
“Record is with India but Pakistan can beat any team on their day. It will depend on who handles the pressure well. It will be the match of the tournament for sure, no matter who wins. For me, Indo-Pak cricket rivalry is much much bigger than Ashes and like every cricket fan, I am eager to see that match,” Abbas concluded.