T20 World Cup 2021: Umar Gul expects Pakistan bowlers to come good against ‘strong’ India

Pakistan will be taking on India on 24 October | Getty

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) received a lot of flak after announcing their squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman. Not only PCB but also the squad was criticized heavily as many people and pundits thought some key players were missing in this group.

The former Pakistan cricketer Umar Gul however feels, all the national cricketers must be encouraged and backed especially after the cancellation of New Zealand and England tours.

No doubt that the (T20 World Cup) squad has been criticized a lot since it was announced. I think we should criticize the squad but don’t mention the names of players because our cricket is going through a difficult phase after the cancellation of New Zealand and England’s tours of Pakistan. It’s time to back the players rather than demoralize them,” Gul told cricketpakistan.com on Sunday.

With the Green Army scheduled to take on arch-rivals India in the upcoming ICC mega event on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the former pacer felt current players should not feel the pressure of this criticism and should just keep performing to their potential.

Players should also take this criticism positively rather than getting pressurized. I also did the same, when I faced such a situation during the course of my career and tried to answer my critics through my performance on the field. The ongoing National T20 Cup is also a good chance for the players to regain their confidence,” the 37-year-old Umar Gul said.

There is extra pressure of the India match as the entire nation wants you to beat them. My suggestion is that players should control their nerves and don’t crumble under pressure as it’s a high-voltage match. I would also advise that, two to three days before, especially around the India match, the players should avoid social and conventional media,” he added.

The right-arm quick then made it clear that it will be a tough task for Pakistan to beat India in the showpiece event citing the presence of top players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the opposition.

Realistically, India has a very strong team. They have worked a lot on their team and have also benefitted greatly from the IPL by unearthing many good players. Obviously, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will hold the key for the Indian side but if Pakistan can dismiss their top-order early in the powerplay, they can put their middle-order under pressure,” Gul said.

The ex-cricketer then showered Pakistan’s current bowling attack especially Shaheen Afridi and Hassan Ali as he expects good performances from them against India.

Pakistan’s bowling is very strong. Hasan Ali has been in great form since his comeback and Shaheen Shah is also in a good rhythm. We also have good spinners, bearing in mind the conditions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I have a lot of expectations from our bowlers,” the 37-year-old signed off.