In a recent video interview released by the International Cricket Council (ICC), former head coach of the Indian cricket team and renowned cricket commentator, Ravi Shastri, shared his thoughts and insights on the much-anticipated clash between India and Pakistan at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023.

Shastri’s perspective on key duels, memorable moments, and the pressure surrounding this historic rivalry provides a unique window into the excitement building up to the game.

One of the most intriguing aspects of this epic showdown is the battle between Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan’s fiery fast bowler, and the Indian opening batsmen. When asked about the duel he is looking forward to the most, Ravi Shastri didn’t hesitate to highlight the contest between Afridi and the Indian openers.

He believes that the outcome of this duel could significantly shape the course of the match. As the battle between bat and ball unfolds, Shastri’s anticipation is shared by cricket fans worldwide, eager to witness this high-stakes confrontation.

“I think Shaheen Shah Afridi against the Indian openers, you know it’s a given that that’s going to be the test, that’s going to be the challenge. You know whoever wins that will go a long way in dictating terms in that game,” said Shastri when asked about the duel that he is looking forward to the most.

Recalling memorable moments from past India-Pakistan clashes in the World Cup, Ravi Shastri pointed to a legendary instance that still echoes in the annals of cricket history. He harked back to Sachin Tendulkar’s remarkable uppercut against the formidable Shoaib Akhtar during the 2003 World Cup in Centurion. The sight of the ‘Little Master’ taming the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ with a stunning shot remains etched in the memories of fans from both nations.

“I think without a shadow of a doubt Sachin Tendulkar’s uppercut against Shoaib Akhtar because pressure match played at the Centurion. It’s probably one of the finest innings I’ve seen Sachin play. I’ve seen most of his hundreds and he’s got plenty of that but that innings under pressure, chasing a big score, you know in a crucial contest, I thought was simply magnificent,” said Ravi Shastri about his best moment in IND Vs PAK World Cup games.

Ravi Shastri Feels India Are The Favourites To Win

The discussion also touched on the unique circumstances surrounding this fixture. As India and Pakistan do not regularly face each other in international cricket, it begs the question of whether there will be extra pressure on both teams.

Ravi Shastri acknowledged the additional weight of expectations in such a high-voltage encounter. However, he expressed his belief that India would be considered favourites due to the familiarity with the home conditions.

“It will be, because you know, I remember in our playing days we used to play Pakistan quite regularly, doesn’t happen so much now. So obviously, you know people, the expectations are big. You know, as a player, you look forward to the contest, so the pressure will be there. But playing at home, just seeing man for man, I think India is a stronger side and they start as favourites,” he concluded

With the match scheduled to be played at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, the home advantage could indeed play a significant role, as Indian players are accustomed to the conditions and the atmosphere.

As fans count down to the clash between these cricketing giants, Ravi Shastri’s insights serve as a reminder of the intense anticipation surrounding the India-Pakistan encounter.

While the duel between Shaheen Shah Afridi and the Indian openers takes centre stage, the history of moments like Sachin’s uppercut continues to define the rich tapestry of this historic rivalry. The pressure may be palpable, but it is this pressure that makes every IND vs. PAK match a spectacle to behold.

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