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Thursday, December 9, 2010

India will be tough to beat at home'

'India will be tough to beat at home'Pak fortunes depend on availability of Asif and Aamer, says ex-Pak skipper Imran Khan.
By Shiva Chadha
Pakistan legend and 1992 World Cup-winning captain Imran Khan feels India are in menacing form and the top contenders for the 2011 World Cup. Speaking at an ESPN-STAR SPORTS-organised World Cup promotional event in New Delhi on Thursday, Imran said that playing at home will be a big advantage for Team India.
"India have great depth in the batting and the bowling department. Moreover, when they are playing at home they really are a tough opponent to beat," said Imran.
The former Pakistan all-rounder also feels that a tough tour of South Africa just ahead of the showpiece event will put them in good stead.
"I actually think that if India have a tough tour of SA it will help them prepare better. Real competitive cricket before a mega event helps you analyze your strengths and weaknesses.
"Before the 1992 World Cup, we got the West Indies to come and play in Pakistan, which really helped us in our preparation," said Imran.
King Khan also said that players should train really hard before such a big competition and should not worry about picking up injuries.
"I trained the hardest before the 1992 World Cup and that really helped me. You should play the toughest matches in the most challenging conditions before such a major tournament. Injuries can happen to you at any time and one should worry about them," he added.
The 58-year-old also said that tainted Pak pacers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif are incredible talents and matters pertaining to their future should be dealt with prudence.
"Pakistan cricket is in disarray at the moment but they are a powerhouse of talent. Aamer and Asif are arguably the best new-ball pair in world. I have seen both Aamer and Wasim Akram at similar stages of their career and let me tell you, Amir is better than what Wasim was at this stage of his career." Imran said.
Imran indicated that the availability of Asif and Aamer will be key to Pakistan's success as bowling strength will surely be a differentiator.

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