Shoaib Akhtar has “psychological edge” over Tendulkar: Hanif Mohammad

March 29th, 2011 - 3:43 pm ICT by ANI  

Shoaib Akhtar Islamabad, Mar 29(ANI): Pakistan should play pace bowler Shoaib Akhtar against India in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final if the Mohali wicket is not spin-friendly, as the Rawalpindi Express has a “psychological edge” over Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, former captain Hanif Mohammad has said.

Joining the debate whether Akhtar should be included in the Pakistan squad for the much-awaited clash against India on March 30, Hanif said that the team management’s decision in this regard should be based on the wicket conditions.

“I think that depends on the wicket. If it’s a wicket that is conducive to spin, then I think they won’t play him, as that fear factor will not be there. Otherwise he should play as Akhtar has a psychological edge over Tendulkar,” quoted the former Pakistan skipper, as saying.

Giving his take on the highly anticipated match at Mohali and the chances of victory for both India and Pakistan, Hanif said that both sides are “capable of beating each other.”

“Pakistan has played with a lot of spirit in this World Cup. There’s a very good combination, understanding and a fighting spirit in the team, and the credit for that goes to [Pakistan captain] Afridi,” he said.

“India is playing at their home ground, and has local support. The Pakistani team has arrived early in Mohali, so I am sure they will be acclimatized and used to the conditions by the time of the game,” he added.

When pressed to choose one winner out of the two, the 55-Test veteran remained typically stoic and resolute.

“I think it will be a very close match, and winning the toss will be important. Whoever bats first and puts 250 plus on the board, the pressure on the other team will be huge,” he said. (ANI)

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