The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will be packed to the rafters if India reach the final against Pakistan, a true ‘déjà vu’ moment with a storyline that dates back to 15 years, when India won the 2007 edition of the tournament beating Pakistan in the finals.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Live’, former India women’s captain Mithali Raj spoke about the chance of there being an India-Pakistan final, she said, “Sure, it will. Now that Pakistan has qualified for the final, India will be at their best. They have to be at their A-game tomorrow if they have to beat England. And it’s a ground that India has done well. So, if the wicket is very similar to what we got to see today, then it will definitely go in favour of India.”
Mithali Raj also spoke about how Virat Kohli’s performance against England will be key to India’s win. She said “I think more than everybody, he will put that expectation on himself to score runs in the semi-finals when India needs him the most. Of course, he’s done very well in the deep phase against Pakistan and has been consistent throughout the tournament. He would want to continue that form into the semi-finals. To reach the final, it is very important that he scores runs and I think he understands that. I think he needs to continue to follow his routine and not change too much, because his expectations are there, there will be pressure. I’m sure as a player he knows how to absorb that and stand and deliver.”
Former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh while speaking on skipper Rohit Sharma’s form and how the game will be a chance for redemption for the Indian opener.
“I think this will create an opportunity for him to show his mettle. What we saw today with what Babar and Rizwan did, big players in big games, they go on to perform and Rohit is a big, big player and we all want him to score runs. When he scores runs, it feels like he’s batting on a different surface, no matter how difficult that surface is. We all want him to come into form and he’s been practising and trying. Things didn’t work so far, but it doesn’t mean it won’t work tomorrow. Tomorrow might be his day and when his day comes, India are going to win,” the Turbanator said.
Harbhajan also spoke on who will be selected between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, he said, “I think I have no choice. I would go with Rahul Dravid because he likes Rishabh Pant but I would like Dinesh Karthik who was playing earlier. Yes, it’s so tough to bat at that number, not many could do what Dhoni and Yuvraj did and you’re comparing DK with those players, who have been champions of the game. And yes, DK is a great, great player who has done well to get to this level. I think he should be a given a go. But yes they also want to have another left-hander in the team.”