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Pakistan have to play against Indian crowd who’ll support Afghanistan: Shoaib Akhtar’s stern wake-up call for Babar Azam


Pakistan have to play against Indian crowd who’ll support Afghanistan: Shoaib Akhtar’s stern wake-up call for Babar Azam


Pakistan, after having suffered by consecutive losses against India and Australia, are bracing for its next battle against Afghanistan. The October 23 match will be at Chennai’s iconic MA Chidambaram Stadium. Shoaib Akhtar has come forward with a cautionary message for the Pakistani squad led by Babar Azam.

Instead of taking Afghanistan as a softer opponent, the Rawalpindi Express’ advice to Pakistan was to tread carefully. In a recent video, he said that the conditions in Chennai, particularly the turning ball, could prove advantageous for Afghanistan. Akhtar emphasised that considering Afghanistan’s current form, it would be foolhardy for Pakistan to underestimate them. While he was optimistic about Pakistan’s capacity to bounce back, his message was clear: “Don’t take this match lightly.”

Interestingly, Akhtar’s warning comes not just as a cricketing strategy but resonates as a wakeup call for the entire Pakistani team. It can be seen as an indirect push for the players to realign their game plans and attitude, especially in light of their recent form. The former pacer also said that Pakistan would have to play against the crowd, expected to support Afghanistan.

“Its Pak vs the crowd. Its Pak vs the groundsmen. Tough match for us. Afghanistan is a tough team, they’re not any minnow or roll over,” he wrote while sharing the video clip on X (formerly Twitter) as he apparently indicated that the Indian crowd would back the Afghan team.

Critical match for Pakistan 

Pakistan, already grappling with back-to-back defeats, now find themselves in a precarious position. A loss against Afghanistan could potentially jeopardise their chances of progressing further in the tournament, making this a high-stakes encounter.

Afghanistan, while placed at the bottom of the points table, defeated world champions England in a massive upset in the ICC World Cup 2023. Their squad, adept in spin bowling, could leverage the pitch conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, adding another layer of complexity for Pakistan, who have been struggling to get their groove back.

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Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 01:03 PM IST


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