Former England captain Nasser Hussain has narrowed down four teams that he expects can be expected to reach the knockouts during the ICC World Cup this year. While hosts and No.1 ODI side England are among the four, the other three are 2015 runners-up New Zealand, two-time champions India and Champions Trophy holders Pakistan. Hussain reckons that England is capable enough to cope up with the pressure of being pre-tournament favorites but also feels that sides like India, Pakistan and New Zealand will pose them major threats.
Hussain has all praises for Pakistan, something he did a few days back as well. Speaking to PakPassion, he had said that even though many Pakistani fans were disappointed over the loss of hopes a number of times, he still “loved” Pakistan cricket. He said the fact that the Men in Green always remain an unpredictable side and warned that one cannot write them off from the upcoming World Cup.
Pakistan had lifted the coveted trophy only once under the leadership of their iconic all-rounder Imran Khan. They registered a win in the Champions Trophy two years back on the English soil when they thumped their arch-rivals India to win the Champions Trophy. Besides, Pakistan also made the final of the World Cup in 1999, the last time it was held in England, but was thrashed by Australia.
During a recent show on Sky Sports, Hussain said, “You look at India, they travel so well. They’re in the mix. ‘There’s pressure on England at home but they are a great side. And I think New Zealand and Pakistan can both surprise people. I’m going with that four’.”
Pakistan is currently playing an ODI series against England as their final preparation ahead of the World Cup. They won all the three side games but lost the one-off T20I. The first ODI at the Kennington Oval got washed out and the second ODI was won by the hosts.