Imran wants a India-Pakistan semifinal in World Cup

Updated: 24 March 2011 09:10 IST

Former captain Imran Khan wants Pakistan and India to clash in the semifinal of the cricket World Cup.

Imran wants a India-Pakistan semifinal in World Cup
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Karachi:

Former captain Imran Khan wants Pakistan and India to clash in the semifinal of the cricket World Cup.

Speaking exclusively on the "Geo Super" channel after Pakistan beat the West Indies in the quarterfinals in Dhaka, the cricketer-turned-politician Imran said he feels India will beat Australia in the second quarterfinal.

"I think India will beat Australia because their team is more suited for the conditions in this part of the world and plus their batting is very strong," Imran said.

Imran, who led Pakistan to the 1992 World Cup title, said he wanted to see a Indo-Pak semifinal because this would go in favor of the Pakistan team.

"I think because of the home crowd pressure and the fear of losing to Pakistan at home, there will be far greater pressure on India while Pakistan remain the under-dogs of the tournament," he noted.

Imran, however cautioned the Pakistani people to not over-celebrate the quarterfinal victory and see the win in the proper perspective.

"Remember India play the spinners very well perhaps they are the best players of spin today. That is why we should now forget about the quarterfinal and start planning ahead for the semifinal."

"I think if India makes it to the semifinal then we should think about attacking them with a stronger pace attack may be even bring back Shoaib Akhtar for the match," the former captain said.

He pointed out that if Shoaib was match fit and if conditions in Mohali were better for the pace bowlers then he would take a chance with the veteran fast bowler.

"He has not played in the last few matches but he remains a match-winner and perhaps knowing that this is his final appearance for Pakistan he could turn in a match-winning performance, I would take the gamble."

Imran also supported the decision to play off-spinner, Saeed Ajmal against the West Indies noting the strategy had worked well. "But I still say go in with more attacking option s and I would still like to see Younis Khan and Misbah batting up the order because in a high pressure match you need your best players to hold the fort and sustain the pressure."

Imran didn't feel that if Pakistan and India played in the semifinal it would have any adverse effect on relations. "Yes an Indo-Pak match is always a big thing specially if it is a world cup semi final but I think in the end it is cricket and sports and that is the way it should be looked at," he said.

Topics : New Zealand Cricket India ICC World Cup, 2011 Pakistan
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