Sparks fly invariably when India meets Pakistan across 22 yards. But it is only in ICC events the two teams come face to face these days.
That is a pity, according to Aamer Sohail, the former Pakistan captain who has featured in some memorable contests between the two teams.
“The ICC keeps on emphasising that politics should not be involved as far as cricket is concerned and I agree with that,” he told Sportstar . “The contest between India and Pakistan always brings that anticipation all around the world. Cricket fans are deprived of that."
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Pakistan's fans were of course delighted that their team finally scored a victory against India, at the T20 World Cup 2021 in October. "It took a long time coming, didn't it?" said Sohail, who is here as a television commentator for the Legends League Cricket. "The people back home in Pakistan were very happy."
He, however, feels there is room for improvement as far as the current Pakistan side is concerned. "Shaheen Afridi is the only consistent fast bowler," he said. "And we don't reverse swing the way we used to. We tend to struggle in the middle overs."
He thinks India's future is bright, despite Virat Kohli quitting captaincy. "Rohit Sharma is a good choice as a captain," he said. "His batting doesn't seem to get affected by captaincy. Of course his experience as the Mumbai Indians skipper at the IPL (Indian Premier League) would help."
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Sohail said Indian cricket benefitted greatly from the IPL. "It helps the new players get prepared and make them comfortable with the camera.But I believe the IPL performances should not be the criterion for selection to the Test team; it should be based only on First Class cricket."
The 55-year-old added that India's young batters should be conscious of the great legacy of their country. "They shouldn't forget that India has always produced world's the best batsmen," he said. "The ability to hit sixes can be handy in T20 but the longer format is more important. You need technique for that."
About the Legends League, he said it was a success. "It has been a revelation," he said. "You have to take your hats off to the commitment shown by the players. It has been a joy to watch them."