'You look at Pakistan and think they'd have no chance at WC': Former England star delivers ruthless verdict

Sep 21, 2023 02:13 PM IST

Pakistan were knocked out in the Super 4 stage in the Asia Cup earlier this month and former England star Dominic Cork made a key remark on Babar Azam's men.

Team India had enjoyed a comprehensive win in the final of the 2023 Asia Cup last Sunday, beating Sri Lanka by 10 wickets after bowling the hosts out on merely 50 in Colombo. Mohammed Siraj decimated the Sri Lankan batting order, picking six wickets for just 21 runs in seven overs, while Hardik Pandya also registered brilliant figures of 3/3 as India ran through the hosts after the latter opted to bat under overcast conditions. India, then, chased down the target with Ishan Kishan opening the batting with Shubman Gill.

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam (L) with teammates walks back to the pavilion after Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four(AFP)
Pakistan's captain Babar Azam (L) with teammates walks back to the pavilion after Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets during the Asia Cup 2023 Super Four(AFP)

India enjoyed an impressive outing throughout the continental tournament with big win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the Super 4 stage as well; after the meeting between both sides saw a rain-forced abandonment in Group A, India thrashed Pakistan by 228 runs a week later. The side had also defeated Sri Lanka by 41 runs that secured its place in the final; a largely second-choice Indian team then faced a narrow six-run loss to Bangladesh in the final Super 4 game.

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Also read: South Africa face enormous setback as Anrich Nortje ruled out of 2023 World Cup; Proteas make 2 late changes to squad

Former England player Dominic Cork, who was in the broadcast team for the Asia Cup and observed the action throughout the tournament closely, has now stated that India is “far ahead” of all of their subcontinental rivals, and made a rather interesting remark on Babar Azam's Pakistan side.

“I just think, you look at Pakistan and think they'd have no chance at the World Cup. (Yes) you can never write them off. But when you look at India, they just look a complete package. You want people they have in their side. Shreyas Iyer, the likes of Suryakumar Yadav who we have seen in the IPL... with Virat and Rohit in the side, and the young guns coming through. Just look at Shubman Gill's record!” Cork said on Sky Sports during England's first T20I against Ireland, which was washed out due to rain.

“India do look the strongest. Pakistan don't look the strongest at the moment, but you can't write them off. A couple of youngsters coming for Sri Lanka like Wellalage and Pathirana, who is like Malinga. Some really good talent coming through but India look way ahead of all of them,” Cork added further.

India face Australia

Team India will take on Australia in the dress-rehearsal for its 2023 World Cup opener, as the two sides meet for a three-match series starting October 22. This will be second time the two teams will face in an ODI series this year; in March, a Steve Smith-led Australia defeated India 2-1.

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