New Delhi: Veteran Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has backed Australia to win the WTC final against India. The two teams will lock horns for the WTC title at Kennington Oval from June 7. Wasim Akram said that the Oval pitch will have pace and bounce and the potent Aussie bowling attack will test the Indian batting. Akram said that the Duke ball tends to swing more so the Indian batting lineup will have their task cut out.
“In Oval, you play a Test match either in the last week of August or during the first or second week of September when the pitch is bone dry. But this time it’s a fresh pitch and it’s early June. There will be a lot more bounce. The Dukes swings a lot more and for a longer time and stays a lot harder than Kookaburra. I think Australia will be slight favourites,” Akram said at the ICC’s ‘Afternoon with Test Legends’ event.
Meanwhile, India will pin their hopes on Mohammed Shami, who will lead their pace attack along with Mohammad Siraj. Notably, India will be without the services of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah who continues to be on the sidelines due to injury. Former India coach Ravi Shastri feels that Shami will be the key for India with the ball in hand.
“I would say if you look at pace attack, if Bumrah was there, I would say it was equal with an attack of Mohammed Shami, Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj. But that Aussie attack with Starc, and Cummins, maybe the match fitness that will come into play. You need some cricket behind you and staying in the park for six hours for five days is different from bowling in nets for two hours every day. Shami might be key as he has been playing a lot of cricket,” Shastri stated in the same show.