‘They’re at the forefront. Among three best teams of the world': Ex-Pakistan all-rounder's big praise for India
Former Pakistan all-rounder Mudassar Nazar said India's cricket has changed a lot, and for the good while Pakistan are sill the same. Nazar's comments come days before the big-ticket India-Pakistan encounter in the T20 World Cup 2021 in Dubai on Sunday.
"I don't think Pakistan has changed. It is India who have changed," Nazar told AFP.
Nazar, who represented Pakistan in 76 Tests and played in an era where they held an upper hand over India, said the current Virat Kohli-led side is at the forefront of world cricket and is among the top three teams.
"India is in the forefront and among the three best sides in the world," he said.
Nazar credited the IPL for the change in Indian cricket.
"With the advent of the IPL they have used the money really, really well. If you look at the domestic competition in India, look at all the associations, how well they are organising their cricket.
He added: “Everybody has got their own stadium, their own academies, school cricket, state cricket. Cricket is thriving in India. The BCCI have been very clever in how they used the IPL money. Indian cricket was powerful before that but since then it has seen a lot of consistency.”
Nazar said India have got all bases covered be it batting, bowling or fielding.
"They have got all the areas covered. You talk about fast bowling, you talk about spinners, fielding, the physical side, it's a powerhouse. They seem to be getting top class batsmen every season. At the moment they are looking very formidable," he said.
Nazar, however, said the tides will turn in favour of Pakistan soo.
"It is also a matter of cycles. One decade we could be better than the rest of the world and then somebody else catches up," said Nazar, who played 76 Tests between 1976 and 1989 with a batting average of over 38.
He also sees a bright future under new PCB chairman Ramiz Raja.
"Things have started to improve with the PSL, but it will take time. It took time for India to revive."
"There is no club cricket and there is hardly any state cricket, so that's a stumbling block.
"But now with the new management coming in, Ramiz is a former cricketer and I think he will shape things better, put us on the right path and in the next couple of years probably we will be as strong as we used to be."
Pakistan once had a far better head-to-head record against India who played catch up with their arch-rivals from 2000 onwards.
Nazar, who had been part of that strong Pakistan set-up, said the national team will someday turn a corner and notch up their first win against India in a World Cup.
"When we were playing we always had the edge and towards the end of my career we won most games against India than we lost," said the 65-year-old Nazar.
"It needs somebody to come up with some brilliance. Somebody has a damn good game. Somebody has a decent century and bowls a decent spell and all of a sudden the tables will turn."
(With AFP inputs)