Sarfraz Stirs The Pot, Says India Experimenting Too Much

Former Pak bowler says Indian squad unsettled before World Cup

India play Pakistan in the World Cup on October 14.

You can expect Sarfraz Nawaz to say something provocative every now and then. On Friday in Lahore, he said the Pakistan ODI squad looked more stable than India going into the Asia Cup, starting August 31, and the World Cup, which begins on October 5.  

“Pakistan has a much more settled and stable outfit for the Asia Cup and World Cup when compared to India. The Indians have still not been able to work out their final combination for these major events,” Nawaz said.

"Captains are changing, many new players are being tried out, there are no proper combinations. I feel instead of the Indian side being developed it is being destroyed.”

India have beaten Pakistan in each of the seven ODI World Cup matches they have played. 

The six foot six Nawaz, who took 177 wickets in 55 Tests, and 63 in 45 ODIs, also felt India will have the pressure of expectations on them, but conceded the team had good senior players.    

“They are always high expectations when you play at home and it creates more pressure. India’s plus point is they have some good senior performers,” said Nawaz, regarded as a pioneer of reverse swing bowling who once took seven wickets for just one run (in overall figures of 9/86). 

Left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi would be Pakistan’s trump card, Nawaz believes. 

“He is an extraordinary bowler and lethal in his first two three overs. I have rarely seen a bowler with such control over swing, seam and pace and yorkers with the new ball,” said Nawaz.

“I am confident that Pakistan can do really well in both these events because we have a settled side and Babar Azam is leading them well. I think the selection committee has also picked a very balanced squad for the series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup."

One of cricket’s wild characters, Nawaz once took off to London in the middle of a series in Pakistan because he wanted to see Christmas celebrations. However, he returned before the next Test. He also successfully appealed for a handled the ball dismissal of Australia’s Andrew Hilditch after the latter simply handed him an errant ball at the non-striker’s end. 

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