Aakash Chopra has backed New Zealand to defeat Afghanistan in today’s T20 World Cup clash in Abu Dhabi. The former opener said he’s “reverse jinxing” India’s qualification chances by predicting the Kiwis will win.
The result of today’s match will decide the fates of three teams in the tournament. If New Zealand win, they’ll progress to the semi-finals. If Afghanistan win, it’ll be a likely three-way tie on points between them, New Zealand and India. The qualifying team will then be decided based on the net run rate (NRR).
Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra said:
“You know how things go with my predictions so I am trying to reverse jinx now. I am saying New Zealand will win because it’s the better team and when I am saying they’ll win it’s possible the prediction will reverse.”
Currently, New Zealand are leading the points, but India are ahead in NRR. India will pray for Afghanistan to defeat Kane Williamson’s team but not by a huge margin. Team India, meanwhile, will look to beat Namibia by a big margin in the final match of the league stage on Monday.
“I don’t like this group much” – Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra further remarked that he isn’t a fan of the makeup of Group 2. He argued that India progressing to the semis without defeating either Pakistan or New Zealand is not ‘fair’ and that New Zealand and Afghanistan depending on defeating each other to qualify is not the “kind of tournament you want”.
Aakash Chopra said:
“This is a very interesting situation…India hasn’t defeated either Pakistan or New Zealand, and only Afghanistan (among the big teams). If India qualifies to the semifinals after just defeating Afghanistan, then how is it fair? If New Zealand can’t defeat Afghanistan they have no right to reach the semi-finals. And Afghanistan is thinking that ‘I have lost to India but I just need to defeat New Zealand to go through’. That’s not the kind of tournament that you want. I don’t like this group much, to be honest. “
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The Afghanistan-New Zealand clash will begin at 3:30 PM IST and will be followed by Pakistan’s encounter against Scotland which will start at 7:30 PM IST.