Johannesburg: India has been lucky to have beaten Pakistan in all the ICC events, said all-rounder Shahid Afridi, oozing confidence that his team would get the bet of its traditional rival in the ongoing Champions Trophy.

“So far, luck has been with India. Hopefully, it would all change this time around,” said Afridi.

Pakistan will take on India in a Group B clash at Centurion on Saturday.

Looking back at the 2003 World Cup match between the two sides which Pakistan lost, Afridi said a lot had changed since then and his team was a lot better now.

“That was 2003. This is 2009. It’s been six years. We are a very good one-day side now. We not only have good batting but our bowling is also exceptional,” he said.

India and host South Africa are claimant to the tag of the world’s best one-day batting side but Afridi said Pakistan was no less.

“If they claim to be the best, I would say we are also best. Every team knows its strength. We have a very balanced side. Still, I don’t take any side lightly,” he said.

“In one-day cricket, we should not think that we can win easily against any team. There have been examples when big teams have lost to small sides,” Afridi said.

Pakistan’s bowling, led by Mohammad Aamer and Umar Gul, backed by spinner Saeed Ajmal and Afridi himself, looks strong and it would only get stronger with the return of Mohammad Asif, who completes his dope ban on Tuesday.

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said Asif’s return was good news for Pakistan cricket.

“He is a match-winner. It’s good for Pakistan that he has made a comeback. The team is looking forward to have him back,” Alam said. — PTI

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