Salaam Cricket 2017: India much stronger than Pakistan now, say Mohammad Azharuddin and Aamer Sohail

first_imgIndia are a far better side than Pakistan currently and the gap between the two sub-continental cricketing giants are yawning, agreed Mohammad Azharuddin and Aamer Sohail, who were often involved in some engrossing Indo-Pak battles in the 1990’s.Azhar and Sohail were part of a session titled Superhit Muqabla-Indo-Pak Captains. Harbhajan Singh was also on the panel. India and Pakistan face off at Edgbaston in their opening match of the Champions Trophy in what will be the first ODI between the arch-rivals since the 2015 World Cup. India, thanks to a Virat Kohli hundred, had got the better of Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval.Defending champions India have been on a roll, especially with Kohli now at the helm in all three formats. Their pacers have been in remarkable form while the batting looks completely settled. Pakistan on the other hand, are in a transitional phase with Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan having retired at different stages from different formats over the last couple of years.”Today’s Pakistan team does not have a lot of match-winners. India are much stronger,” said Azharuddin.Sohail, one of the most explosive openers in the 90’s, agreed with Azhar and said there’s a wide gap between the two cricket teams and praised Indian cricket authorities for taking the right steps.”There’s plenty of gap. Indian cricket authorities have invested in the right areas and they emphasised on the basics of cricket.”We started relying too much on players like Afridi and Imran Nazir, who were not very dependable. They could only win you 10 out of 100 matches.advertisement”In the past, we never associated India with fast bowlers. There were exceptions like Kapil Dev and a few others. Now, they have a few together and their approach is refreshing because they think wickets. Indian outlook has changed.”Any team needs utility cricketers and impact cricketers. Pakistan does not have those kinds of players and we lack a proper leader. The fact that we have played so much cricket on the dead Emirates pitches has affected us,” Sohail said.Harbhajan Singh, one of those men behind Indian cricket’s rise over the last decade or so, said a strong infrastructure has helped.”India have worked hard on fast bowlers. After Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra gave India a new perspective.”Pakistan have a lot of good individuals now but once upon a time, they had fast bowlers who rocked the world. Now, India has that kind of talent and the National Cricket Academy has played a key role there. The fitness levels even in Ranji Trophy are pretty high.”The three panellists also discussed the current stalemate in bilateral cricket relations between India and Pakistan.”I am surprised that India do not want to play Pakistan in any bilateral event and yet they are playing World Cups and ICC events. Is it about money?,” Sohail said.Harbhajan and Azhar felt if India stop playing cricket with Pakistan because of cross-border tensions, then other relations with the neighbours should also end.Also Read:Salaam Cricket 2017: Shane Warne, Sourav Ganguly recall old cricket memories and ‘sledge’ each otherSalaam Cricket 2017: Don’t think Anil Kumble can have problems with anyone, says Harbhajan Singhlast_img read more