T20 World Cup 2021: Shoaib Akhtar says captain’s luck not favorable for Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli | GETTY

Pakistan’s ex-cricketer Shoaib Akhtar said India will be under more pressure than Pakistan in their clash on Sunday (October 24) in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. He said all the focus will be on India which adds extra pressure on the team, unlike Pakistan who have nothing to lose.

India have remained unbeaten against Pakistan in the ICC World Cup tournaments. They will look to continue their winning streak in front of a huge crowd backing India in Dubai.

“There is a lot of pressure but it’s less on Pakistan because first of all, the entire stadium is blue. That is yours. Your fans will be there, your broadcasters, we have no problems if we lose this,” Akhtar said on Salaam Cricket 2021.

Akthar added that Pakistan’s main focus would be on defeating New Zealand more than India now, after what happened recently. The Kiwis had pulled out of the Pakistan tour minutes before the first ODI due to a security threat. They had got assurance from Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, but the New Zealand team still didn’t agree to continue the tour.

“Our real anger is with New Zealand. We will take it out on them, we have no issues with you,” he jokingly said.

“On a serious note, I feel there is a lot at stake for India. If Pakistan bat first and make more than 180 runs then trust me, the pressure gets to the biggest of players. If India can handle that pressure better than Pakistan, that’s fine, but what if Pakistan surprises you,” he added.

The 46-year-old feels India skipper Virat Kohli doesn’t have much luck with him as a captain. “Captain’s luck is not favorable for Virat Kohli. I feel that Virat Kohli is such a great cricketer, a great guy, but somehow, as a captain, his luck is not striking. I hope it doesn’t strike on the 24th,” said Akhtar.

Kohli won’t be captaining India in T20I after the 2021 T20 World Cup. He has already stepped down from Royal Challengers Bangalore captaincy in IPL.