Pakistan had a tough time against Australia in the UAE © Getty Images
Pakistan had a tough time against Australia in the UAE © Getty Images

New Delhi: Oct 18, 2014

Former Pakistan captain Aamer Sohail on Saturday predicted that Pakistan will have tough times in the ICC World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand early next year as the team does not have quality back-up players. “Pakistan team is not playing well. We don’t have back up players and that’s why you see those players making comebacks often and that too without much effort,” Sohail said at an event here.

Sohail, who was involved in a famous verbal duel with Venkatesh Prasad during 1996 World Cup quarterfinal in Bangalore, found a soft spot in India’s star studded batting line-up. “India need someone to carry the innings after a few wickets fall. Someone should bat for 15 or so overs. India is full of stroke players, but somebody needs to bat through. Maybe Rohit Sharma is the person,” he said at ‘Salaam Cricket’ conclave organised by India Today Group.

Sohail, a member of Pakistan’s 1992 World Cup-winning side, said bowling will be a matter of concern for India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as bowlers often tend to be carried away by the pace and bounce on the Australian pitches.  “Bowlers need to find a neat line and length in Australia. If India’s fast bowlers manage to do well, India will have brighter chances,” Sohail said, adding that leggie Amit Mishra should feature in the first playing XI.

Sohail also spoke about his playing experience in Australia and the condition that will prove to be the litmus test for the players. “Batting at times is easy in Australia because bounce will be true. Captains should use their bowlers as attacking options,” he said.

Asked about India’s upcoming tour of India before the World Cup, Sohail said, “Problem for India will be if one or two players fail in Australia series, suddenly there will be pressure on them as media will highlight those things. It will be upto the Board and selection committee to show faith on them.”

The conclave ‘Kaise Jeetenge World Cup’ was attended by the likes of Kapil Dev, Allan Border, Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Arjuna Ranatunga, Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly.