Dubai: Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq is hopeful that India will reach the final of the T20 World Cup 2021 and meet Pakistan once again, not because Pakistan won the last game but the fact that India are still a strong side. The former Pakistan off-spinner, one of the greats of the game also went on to add that the previous game was a great advertisement of cricket where both teams were seen exchanging pleasantries at the end of the match, adding that it will help in improving relations and also goes on to prove that it is just a game.

Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets in the match on Sunday and, according to Saqlain, the sporting conduct of players on both sides sent a strong message of humanity.

Asked if he would want another game with the traditional rivals in the final of the marquee tournament, Saqlain said, “If India makes the final, it would be a great thing because I feel, and this is not because we have beaten them, they are a strong team, everyone considers them a favourite.”

“Do match khelenge to relation aur acche ho jaenge (playing one more match would only better our relations).

“In the previous game, the way Virat Kohli, (MS) Dhoni and even our own players conducted themselves, it sent a strong message that we are all humans, we all love each other, it is just a game,” he said.

“Hats off to the players for sending the message. Dosti ki jeet ho, dushmani ki haar ho (friendship should triumph, enmity should lose),” he said.

The question was thrown at him during a press conference ahead of the match against Afghanistan here on Friday.

Saqlain said he also considers England, Australia and South Africa as strong contenders.

“Jab aap aate hain to become a world champion, then you don’t look at opponents, you focus on your own game. England is a favourite, Australia plays tough cricket. South Africa also. I believe, commitment, attitude and process are in your hands, not the results.

“You should be able to execute the plans, no matter who you are playing. If India makes finals, the ICC will be happy, fans will be happy,” he said.

India are due to take on New Zealand in their second Super 12 match on Sunday.

(With PTI Inputs)