New Delhi: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram is of the view that pacer Shoaib Akhtar should get a place in Pakistan’s playing XI in the semi-final tie against arch rivals India on Wednesday, next week.

"Maybe Pakistan will play Shoaib Akhtar against India. I feel he deserves a place for sure. Wahab Riaz is bowling well but he is nothing exceptional and Shoaib could take his place. Shoaib's only problem in this ICC CWC has been his second spell. I have advised him to warm up before the second spell and that will help him," Akram said.

"Shoaib against the Indians is always very dangerous. I know it is a big risk, but luck favours the brave. Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag are top-class players but against Shoaib it's a different duel altogether. He is an entertainer and he loves the big stage," said Akram

"Saeed Ajmal bowled well against Australia. Though Pakistan can even revert to Abdur Rehman for the semis. Probably Shahid will asses the Mohali pitch and then take a call. When a team is performing well, these are good problems to have," Akram said.

India have won all the four World Cup encounters against Pakistan since 1992 and Akram predicted a close game even this time when the two sides clash on March 30 in Mohali.

"I feel that India are the favourites against Pakistan. Though Pakistan are also playing good cricket. India are definitely strong on paper, are an experienced side. Pakistan have an edge in the bowling department, they have a better variety.

"India-Pakistan match is always a pressure-cooker affair, whether you play in front of an empty stand or in Timbuktu. It will certainly be a close game," said Akram.