Karachi: Former Pakistan captains Zaheer Abbas and Wasim Akram on Sunday refused to consider defending champion India as favourite to retain the World Twenty20 title, saying the Indian players would be too tired to go for the kill after a hectic season coupled with the Indian Premier League (IPL) grind.

“I think there is no favourite team in such a tournament. Anyone from among Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa can win the World Cup,” Abbas said.

“If the IPL is good practice for the players ahead of the World Cup the Indians have been playing too much cricket and would be tired by the time the tournament is held,” he said.

Akram also agreed that India could face problems this time because its players would be fatigued after a long tough season.

“In such a tournament it is very difficult to maintain a long winning streak and you need to be fresh for the challenge,” he added.

Conflicting opinions

The two, however, had different opinions about runner-up Pakistan’s chances.

Abbas felt Pakistan had only a distant chance to claim the trophy. “I would love to see Pakistan win but the fact is that the World Cup is being held in different conditions and it will be very tough,” said Abbas.

However, Akram tipped Pakistan as favourite to win the final because he felt bowling was its strength and suitable for the English conditions. “And they have a very good track record in T20 cricket.

“But more then anything I believe our bowling is strong and ideal for the English conditions and pitches,” the former fast bowler said. — PTI

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