World Twenty20 2009
Pakistan favourites for World Twenty20 - Wasim Akram
May 21, 2009
Wasim Akram has tipped Pakistan to win next month's World Twenty20 in England. Pakistan have lost just three of their 17 Twenty20 internationals and convincingly beat Australia by seven wickets in Dubai earlier this month.
"Pakistan has the best winning ratio of all the teams in the Twenty20 cricket, so if they continue to keep that consistency it won't be difficult to win," Akram told AFP. "I thought Australia would thrash them in the one-off T20 match in Dubai but it was the other way round and now, if Pakistan play to their potential, they can win the title."
In the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 Pakistan had finished as runners-up, going down by five runs to India in the final. For next month's tournament, they are grouped with hosts England and the Netherlands in the initial league phase.
Akram rated Pakistan's bowling as their strongest suit, and said the batting was the only thing that could let them down. "With Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir and Shoaib Akhtar, if he is fit and going with the team, Pakistan has the best bowling attack backed by quality spin of Shahid Afridi," he said. "I am also impressed with the talent of Mohammad Aamer who is nippy and can swing the ball both ways. He could be a revelation in the event."
Pakistan's government had barred its country's players from participating in the IPL, a factor that Akram thinks will work in Pakistan's favour. "I think Pakistan has played less cricket and will be fresh, while Indian players could be fatigued after playing in the IPL."