03 December 2010
Afridi backs his side to win CWC 2011
Shahid Afridi will have a tough task on his hands
Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi in action.
Pakistan's ODI and T20 skipper Shahid Afridi tipped his side to be one of the favourites for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
"I strongly believe that Pakistan will be among the top contenders. There have been many controversies recently but we will leave them behind to concentrate on World Cup. We have good batting line up and talented bowlers. All of them are confident of good show," the flamboyant all-rounder said from Karachi.
Afridi counted India as one of the strong contenders in the World Cup, to be held in sub-continent from February 19 next year.
"I think India, Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka will be in the semi-finals. India and Sri Lanka will face additional pressure as they will playing on home turf," Afridi said.
He also praised the current Indian team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"India is continuously playing well since Dhoni has taken over. The confidence level of the team is amazing and I think it will be an exciting contest," said the veteran, who has scored 6371 runs in 303 ODIs for Pakistan.
Afridi said Sachin Tendulkar would be the batsman to watch in the elite ICC event.
"Sachin is an extra-ordinary player. His hunger for runs is growing by his age. He is playing since 20 years and it is his last World Cup. Naturally he wants to make it a memorable one. All teams need to be extra cautious against him and we are no exception. We will draw a specific strategy for Sachin and some other Indian batsmen," he said.
Afridi also rued the fact they have lost the opportunity to play before the home fans in the prestigious tournament.
"This is a huge loss for Pakistan Cricket. Foreign teams are not playing here and it has definitely affected us. We cannot do anything in this matter. Thank god, we have enough international exposure prior to World Cup."
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