"Rare Thing": Virat Kohli Speaks About Pakistan Fans Supporting India In England Clash
For Pakistan to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals, their fans will hope for England's defeat in at least one of their remaining two matches.
Virat Kohli was amused by the fact that Pakistan cricket team and its fans will pray for India's victory, which he called a "rare thing", in a World Cup 2019 league stage encounter against England at Edgbaston on Sunday. For Pakistan to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals, their fans will hope for England's defeat in at least one of their remaining two matches. India, on the other hand, will be through to the semis with just one win in their remaining three matches. Joking about the crunch situation for Pakistan, a giggling Virat Kohli said at the toss, "To be honest I haven't seen what's been happening outside. But I do believe the Pakistani fans will be supporting us, which is a rare thing."
For the match against England, India included young wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant in place of injured all-rounder Vijay Shankar.
England, who were displaced by Pakistan from the fourth position in the points table with their win over Afghanistan on Saturday, opted for two changes in the playing XI. All-rounder Liam Plunkett and opener Jason Roy came in the side, replacing Moeen Ali and James Vince respectively.
Earlier, former fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar urged Pakistan to back India against the hosts.
"So I want the whole of Pakistan to back India, on social media and when it comes to public news. Because we need England to be out of this tournament," Akhtar said in a video on his YouTube channel said.
"Very odd, that as a Pakistani I'm saying this and requesting all Pakistanis living in the country and abroad - please support whoever you think is right. But another option - you drink their waters, so you better support them. You live in England, so support England. You eat in England, so support England. However, as Pakistanis in Pakistan, we want Pakistan to qualify. If England get knocked out and Pakistan win against Bangladesh, the way will open up for us," he added.
After their three-wicket win over Afghanistan, Pakistan have moved to fourth place in the points-table, pushing hosts England to the fifth spot in the World Cup.
Pakistan will now face Bangladesh in their final league stage match in a bid to qualify for the semis.