KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain and legendary paceman Wasim Akram Tuesday tipped Pakistan as one of top three favourites to win the World Twenty20 starting in Bangladesh next week.
The fifth edition of the World Twenty20 with 16 teams in competition will be held in from March 16 to April 6.
“For me Pakistan, India and the West Indies are top three favourites as they play this format well and have enough experience at their disposal,” Wasim said during a reception here.
India won the inaugural World Twenty20 held in South Africa in 2007 while Pakistan won the second edition held in England two years later.
The West Indies will defend the title they won in Sri Lanka in 2012.
Hosts Bangladesh and Zimbabwe along with six qualifiers will open the first round of the fifth edition of the World Twenty20.
The top two teams from the first round will join the eight seeded teams in the second round which kicks off with a much-awaited India-Pakistan clash in Dhaka on March 21.
Wasim said an Indo-Pak match will be an ideal kick off to the main round.
“What else do you want as an opening match,” said Wasim, who will be commentating on the event. “Whenever Pakistan and India play, millions watch the game and there are no favourites in that match.”
Wasim said Pakistan must enter the event with a positive frame of mind.
“Pakistan had a very balanced squad and all they need to do is to enter the event with a positive frame of mind,” said Wasim, who criticised Pakistan’s loss in the Asia Cup final to Sri Lanka last week.
Sri Lanka chased down a challenging 261-run target in 46.2 overs with opener Lahiru Thirimanne notching a brilliant 101. Defending champions Pakistan had posted a tough 260-5 with Fawad Alam hitting a maiden hundred with 114 not out. This was Sri Lanka’s fifth Asia Cup title, equalling India’s number of triumphs in the event initiated in 1984. “I couldn’t sleep for two days as I failed to understand the manner in which we used our bowlers in the final,” said Wasim.
“I think in the first place the decision to bat first was not correct because Pakistan had chased well in the matches against India and Bangladesh and then defending a 260-plus total we didn’t use our bowlers well.”