England favourites for ICC Champions Trophy, Pakistan underdogs: Waqar Younis
England’s chances of winning the ICC Champions Trophy are very high, stated former Pakistan coach Waqar Younis.
Eoin Morgan’s team are rated by several experts to do clinch the coveted trophy after finishing runners-up against India in the 2013 Champions Trophy final.
However, this time, Waqar is confident that England will end up on the winning side as Morgan & Co begin their campaign against Bangladesh at the Oval on June 1. Bangladesh had ended England’s World Cup campaign in the league stage with a stunning win in the 2015 tournament.
Waqar felt England have the momentum heading into the Champions Trophy with success over South Africa in the three-match ODI series.
“England has that slight edge over the other teams. They are hitting their straps before the tournament and in Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes, they have wicket-taking bowlers who are aggressive and want to stem the flow of runs by taking wickets,” Waqar was quoted as saying by PakPassion website. “It’s an attacking, and at times risky, policy but it’s one that is working very well for them and they should carry on with this approach,” he added.
On Pakistan’s chance at the Champions Trophy, Waqar said: “There is no doubt that they are among the underdogs and their chances are not very bright. However, that’s the beauty of cricket. If the Pakistan team clicks and they build some momentum winning their first couple of games, then you never know.
“In the past, there have been surprises in the Champions Trophy with West Indies winning the tournament in 2004, so no team can be totally ignored. Even India winning last time around in English conditions was a bit of a surprise. Pakistan have a good bowling line-up with Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Shadab Khan, and also Mohammad Amir looks like he is getting back into the groove. The bowling attack will not allow teams to get huge totals of 300 plus, but the question is can the Pakistani batsman get those runs and reach those targets.”