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Soon I will leave for Dhaka to be with the ESPN STAR Sports team for the coverage of the 2011 ICC World Cup which returns to the subcontinent after a gap of 15 years. Besides cricketers, I will also meet some critics who sincerely believe that Pakistan lack the firepower to dazzle the World Cup. I have said this before; let me say it again: the Shahid Afridi-led side has the potential to reach the semi-finals. If they do, there will be no stopping them. For almost five years, Pakistan cricket has delivered little. The boys are fully charged up and their body language is extremely positive.Sachin TendulkarThe pressure is always high on the teams from the subcontinent. In 1996, Pakistan lost to India in the quarter-finals at Bangalore and India messed its show against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens. The pressure, at times, becomes too much for the teams to handle. Hopefully, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will be able to handle the pressure better this time. South Africa, Australia and host India are already being considered favourites. I would like to add Pakistan, not England, to the list.Many people are a bit critical of the format and the six-day gap each team gets after a match. I think it is good for the team because the players will get a chance to recover. Remember, the quick-match pressure in 2007 spoilt the party for both India and Pakistan. Now the teams will get a fair chance to bounce back even if they fail in one match.advertisementI have seen the madness that follows the game both in India and Pakistan. It is almost like a war zone. The players need to handle the pressure and should not collapse after some early debacles. Already, the media in India has started hyping this World Cup as Sachin Tendulkar’s Cup and how the team-if not for anything else-should win the Cup for Tendulkar. This kind of pressure often proves to be counter-productive for the team. When Pakistan won the 1992 World Cup in Australia, not a single player was highlighted as the star of the side. Indian fans should allow Tendulkar to play his natural game. If that happens, no one can stop the Indians.In the run-up to the World Cup, little has been said about the Pakistani team and its players. I am pinning hopes on veteran all-rounder Abdul Razzaq who has the potential to become one of the key players in this Cup. All-rounders such as Sir Richard Hadlee, Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham vied for top honours once. Today, the likes of Razzaq will compete with Shane Watson and Yusuf Pathan. These three can singlehandedly shape the fortunes of any match. If Razzaq can work on his pace and improve his fielding, he will be a proven match-winner. He and Umar Gul will have to form the destructive new-ball pairing for Pakistan in the absence of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif as both have been banned by an ICC anti-corruption tribunal. There will be the veteran Shoaib Akhtar who, if fit, could be very useful in his short spells of reverse swings and toe-crushing yorkers at the start of the innings, in the middle and during the slog overs. Pakistan will also miss all-rounder Sohail Tanvir.The 1992 World Cup victory established a link between cricket and the Pakistani identity and it was a boost to our national pride. Another World Cup win is very much required for Pakistani cricket to bury its troubled past.- Wasim Akram is a former captain of Pakistan and now a commentator with ESPN STAR Sports. This column is based on his conversation with Deputy Editor Shantanu Guha Ray.