India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2023: "No Matter How Much IPL You Play...": Ex-Pakistan Star's Veiled Dig At Indian Team
India and Pakistan are scheduled to face each other on September 02 in the Asia Cup 2023.
The Asia Cup might be a continental tournament in cricket but it's biggest point of attraction remains the India vs Pakistan contest. With the two teams set to face each other, potentially on three occasions, fans are understandably enthralled. In fact, the India vs Pakistan contest remains the most talked about subject of the event. While comparisons between the two teams have been coming thick and heavy, former Pakistan star Salman Butt doesn't feel the Indian team is as prepared for the challenge his compatriots.
In a video on his YouTube channel, Butt hailed the clarity that Pakistan have in terms of squad selection whereas the topic is a lot more open for the Indian team. For Butt, India's team is a lot more fragile, especially considering some of the star players have been injured for a long time.
"If we look at India's fast bowling, fitness is a concern. Players have been unfit for a long time, we don't know if they are fragile, will they go full throttle. Apart from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, they have youngsters, who have played plenty of cricket but they don't have that much of experience.
"India have won matches only when Rohit Sharma has played well or Virat Kohli has done something spectacular. When the onus is on others they have mostly struggled," he said.
While the Indian team has quite a few match-winners, Butt finds the batting unit 'brittle'. In comparison to Pakistan, Butt also feels India don't have the sort of express pacers that Babar Azam's side has.
"Pakistan have Babar, Rizwan, Fakhar, Shadab, Shaheen, Haris Rauf. And in my opinion, Pakistan have a much larger core group. India too have match-winners like Jadeja, Shami, Bumrah, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli. But their batting is brittle, if Pakistan pick the two big wickets then the others will have a lot to prove. They have not helped India win matches against Pakistan or in their own," the former Pakistan captain opined.
"We have bowlers who can bowl at 90mph, only one or two can touch 90mph, others don't have that much pace. This is an added advantage. We have both types of spinners, fast bowling all-rounder, and he too touches 140kph," he said.
Butt also took a swipe at the IPL, saying no matter how much the Indian players grind themselves in the T20 league, it doesn't bring the sort of pressure that a match against Pakistan does.
"There are plenty of expectations from India, hence the pressure is more. And since India have not played against Pakistan for a long time for whatever reasons, their players no matter how much IPL they've played, they don't have the experience of playing in such a high-voltage clash. Chahe subah, dopahar, sham IPL khel le (no matter how much you play in the IPL) it does not bring the same pressure, which is during India-Pakistan series," he said.