T20 World Cup 2021: Brad Hogg feels match against India key for Pakistan’s fate in the tournament

Indian cricket team | GETTY

India are set to take on arch-rivals Pakistan to kick-off their 2021 T20 World Cup campaign on October 24. The Babar Azam-led side has equations against them ahead of the match, as India have a comparatively better squad and they are also unbeaten against Pakistan in the ICC World Cup tournaments.

Former Australia cricketer Brad Hogg said Pakistan can find it really tough advancing to the semi-finals if they lose their match against India in Dubai. Apart from India, Pakistan will have to face Afghanistan, New Zealand, and the two teams from Round 1.

“If Pakistan get beaten by India in the first game, they’ve got a short turnaround to play New Zealand. I think that will be a huge factor on whether Pakistan go through or not. If Pakistan loses against India in the first game, I don’t think they will get through, India will get through. So watch that space,” he said in an interaction with Deep Dasgupta on his YouTube channel.

Hogg picked his semifinalists for the tournament and kept out Australia from the top four. He named India and Pakistan from Group 2, while the Aussie thinks West Indies and England will qualify from Group 1.

“The teams that I think are going to go to the semis are England and the West Indies from Group 1 and from Group 2 I think it’s going to be Pakistan and India,” he said.

India are among the teams who are said to have a better shot at the title this year. But they will have to learn from their previous exits in the knockouts to step up in the semi-final and final.

The Men in Blue haven’t won a mega ICC tournament since their 2013 Champions Trophy triumph in England. They reached the final in the 2014 T20 World Cup, and the semi-final in 2016, along with a semi-final defeat in ODI World Cup 2015 and 2019.

India had a good opportunity to win the 2013 Champions Trophy, but they lost to Pakistan in the final. Even in the World Test Championship final, New Zealand managed to beat India earlier this year.