Akhtar says Indian batting will be tested in England

June 04, 2013 04:16 pm | Updated 04:16 pm IST - Karachi

Former speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels the high-voltage ICC Champions Trophy clash between Pakistan and India would be a battle between the former’s bowling prowess and the latter’s famed batting line-up.

“For me, this high-pressure match is a duel between their batsmen and our bowlers. We have an advantage over them not only in the pace department but also spin bowling,” Akhtar said in an interview.

Pakistan and India will square off at Edgbaston in their Group ‘B’ league match on June 15.

Akhtar said the calming presence of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will act as a big advantage for the Indians.

“Dhoni is a big plus for them despite all the recent controversies. And like always their batting has lot of depth and quality,” he said.

Akhtar also heaped praise on Virat Kohli and described him as a match-winner.

“He is a match-winner, there’s no doubt about that. He is a quality player. Even the presence of Rohit Sharma in the middle is not a good news for the opposition bowlers,” he said.

Akhtar, however, had a word of caution for the Indian batsmen, who he believes would struggle to handle the English conditions, where the ball is expected to swing and bounce.

“People are talking about the advantage for players who have played in the Indian Premier League recently. But this is not the IPL and this is not India. This is the Champions Trophy and this is England and the Indian batting will be tested for sure,” he said.

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