Updated June 8th, 2024 at 22:33 IST

'Take nothing for granted': Gayle Identifies front-runner in IND vs PAK T20 World Cup 2024 battle

Ahead of the huge India vs Pakistan clash in the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, former West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle has picked his favourite in the contest.

Indian players shake hands after India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2022 match | Image:AP
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Renowned West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle has bestowed the label of "favorite" upon India in anticipation of its highly anticipated T20 World Cup clash against Pakistan scheduled for Sunday. India kicked off their ICC campaign on a positive note with a victory over Ireland, while Pakistan faced a setback against a determined USA co-hosts, resulting in a dramatic Super Over finish.

Also Read | PAK all-rounder warns Babar-led side about Kohli-Bumrah threat

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ICC T20 World Cup 2024: Chris Gayle shares thoughts on India vs Pakistan encounter

“Their (Pakistan) backs are up against the wall and coming off a loss like that straight into playing a team like India, who traditionally have the upper hand in these games, is a huge challenge,” Gayle told ICC. Gayle cautioned against expecting a subdued contest between the cross-border rivals, emphasizing the intensity that typically characterizes their encounters.

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“India are in the driver’s seat, definitely a more relaxed seat. But this is India versus Pakistan at a World Cup, so you can take nothing for granted,” he added. 

The dynamic Jamaican highlighted the need for Pakistan to swiftly regroup in order to present a formidable challenge to India. “As for Pakistan, they have no time to waste. They have to re-group for the biggest game of the tournament against India in New York City – that’s just got even bigger,” he said.

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Nonetheless, Gayle believes that a victory for the USA over Pakistan would significantly advance the game of cricket.

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“Like the rest of the cricketing world, I was gripped by the USA’s victory over Pakistan. It is a huge result which is not only incredible for them but massive for cricket as a whole. You always expect a few upsets at World Cups and having started well by beating Canada, USA put Pakistan under the pump for pretty much the whole game. I think it marks the day the World Cup really started,” he noted.

The former Windies skipper said this tournament holds massive importance for his country, which had failed to qualify for last year’s 50-over World Cup held in India.

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“Having not qualified for the last ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, this tournament is so important for cricket in the Caribbean. This is a huge thing for the players to step up and be counted,” he added.

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Published June 8th, 2024 at 22:13 IST