Sunil Gavaskar on Thursday picked Pakistan as the favourites against India in the marquee match of the ICC World T20 to be played at the Eden Gardens on Saturday, saying they have the tempo and familiarity with the conditions.
India, who came into the tournament as clear favorites, were thrashed by New Zealand in their opening game, while Pakistan roared back to form beating Bangladesh.
“They have won their first match in Kolkata, and they also played a warm-up game there. So, though India is the home side, it is Pakistan who is more aware of the conditions. And it will be an advantage going into Saturday’s match,” Gavaskar told NDTV.
“It’s still pretty much Indian batting versus Pakistan bowling. However, with the way Indian bowlers have performed recently, they also won’t be easy to tackle either.
Ashwin is bowling well and so is Ashish Nehra, ever since he has made a comeback. Then you have Jasprit Bumrah, so it will be a test for Pakistani batsman.
“Having said that, it only takes an over and half to turn the game around in T20,” said the Little Master.
The legendary Indian batsman also believes that the fact that Pakistan has never beaten India in a major World level ICC event will also be a motivation for the Shahid Afridi XI.
The fact that Green Shirts have never won against the Men in Blue in any World Cup will act as a motivation for them. They would want to prove a point or two against India. Shahid Afridi and the whole team look hungry to do well,” Gavaskar conceded.