Sachin Tendulkar India Kamran Akmal Pakistan
VVS Laxman believes India will miss Sachin Tendulkar when they take on Pakistan at the World CupReuters

Batting legend VVS Laxman has not held back any punches in his assessment of the upcoming India vs Pakistan match at the ICC World Cup 2015, terming MS Dhoni's men as the clear favourites owing to the fact that they "handle pressure" much better than their rivals.

While the World Cup kicks off on Saturday with two matches involving the hosts, all eyes remain on the mega clash on Sunday when India and Pakistan renew their rivalry.

India, of course, have a firm grip on clashes between the two teams at the World Cup, having beaten Pakistan on five previous occasions.

Laxman believes that shows that India handle the pressure of the big stage much better than their "unpredictable" counterparts Pakistan.

"Pakistan are a dangerous side, no doubt about that," PTI quoted Laxman as saying on NDTV. "But they lacked consistency and they recently lost to New Zealand in the UAE under familiar conditions.

"So, even in current form, India are the favourites. Moreover, India can cope with the pressure associated with a high-voltage clash better and that is why India have won more matches against Pakistan in ICC events, including all five World Cup matches."

In all those five World Cup matches India won, they had a trump card who goes by the name of Sachin Tendulkar. After all, who can forget that ridiculous knock Tendulkar played against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup in Centurion where he made a 75-ball 98, or the immensely important half-century in the semifinal of the 2011 World Cup.

Tendulkar also made his mark in the 1992 WC, scoring a half-century and picking up a wicket, and there is little doubt that India will miss the services of the great man when they take on Pakistan on Sunday.

"India will miss Sachin," added Laxman. "He has bagged three Man of the Match awards in India's five World Cup wins against Pakistan so far. Nobody can replace him.

"Having said that India have many match-winners in the current team, more in batting than in bowling. The batting is deep with captain MS Dhoni batting at No.6.

"Rohit Sharma, who has hit highest individual score of 264, is a match-winner. Dangerous Suresh Raina is there at No.5 and then Ajinkya Rahane at No.4. Virat Kohli is having the best patch of his career. Pakistan faces a formidable Indian batting lineup."

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