Afridi expects jubilee match to be a cracker

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Pakistan's hard-hitting batsman Shahid Afridi expects Saturday's India-Pakistan encounter to be an interesting match with a very close finish.

"We have won three matches in a row against India and want to make it four in a row," Afridi told newsmen here today but went on to add, "India will be looking for revenge and we expect them to come back hard".

Emphasising that the young players in the visiting team are fired up for the one-off match at the magnificent Eden Garden to mark the Platinum Jubilee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), he said, "It (match) is going to be a very close finish".

Asked to name a potential threat among the Indians, he said, "I don't want to name any individual player but the fact is that they (Indians) have a very strong batting line-up".

Apart from this, the Indian team also has the advantage of playing at home ground and with crowd support, he said.

Asked to predict the winner of the match, he only said, "Anything can happen. Both sides are strong".

Among the Indian bowlers, Afridi said, both Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan have been bowling very well lately.

Incidentally this is Afridi's second visit to the city within a year as he was here in last December with Pakistan 'A' side after which he made it to the senior team as a middle order batsman during India's tour to Pakistan.

He said this transition helped him a lot as now he can bat in relaxed manner as earlier he had to open the innings immediately after fielding and bowling for 50 overs.

"This has helped me relax and bring balance in the team as my performance has also improved," Afridi said.

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