Saturday, Dec 4 2021 | Time 22:18 Hrs(IST)

Ind v/s Pak: Debutant T20 WC skippers get ready for 'mother of all' clashes

Ind v/s Pak: Debutant T20 WC skippers get ready for 'mother of all' clashes

Dubai, Oct 23 (UNI) Cricket fans across the sub-continent especially those from India and Pakistan are expecting a mega battle on Sunday between the arch-rivals, when they lock horns in the Super 12's group of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup here.
The match means a lot for both sides as they have not played any bilateral series since 2012-13 due to the worsening cross-border tension.
As a result, both teams will be under immense pressure, which is expected to brings out blockbuster performances. In 2012-13, Pakistan came to India after five years to play three ODIs and two T20Is. The last Test series between the neighbours was played in 2007 which India won by 1-0.

The mother of all battles also means a lot for the broadcasters and ICC and BCCI, as it provides a platform for them to rake in the moolah.
Though both the sides have won the crown of the T20 WC on one occasion each, India has a clean record of trouncing Pakistan in all the five encounters in the T20 World Cup. India has also 100 per cent winning record against Pakistan in ODI World Cup.
India faced Pakistan in their second T20 World Cup match in the inaugural year held in South Africa in 2007 after India-Scotland match was washed out without a ball bowled.
This match, which was the first T20I match between both the teams, had ended in a tie. Thus both the teams walked out again for the bowl-out. Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh hit the stumps, helping India register a memorable win over Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan failed to clip the stumps in their three attempts from Umar Gul, Yashir Arafat and Shahid Afridi.
India will be hoping to keep the momentum going after convincingly winning their two warm-up matches against England and Australia. But, the Super 12 contest is a different ball game altogether as India goes into this round, without getting the sixth bowling option right.
Also, Virat Kohli will be under pressure as he debuts as the Indian skipper in the T20 WC, al though he has 2007 Inaugural T20-World Cup-winning team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the team mentor.
Dhoni's tactics and gameplans are expected to trump rival Azam, who is also making T20 debut as captain.
Nevertheless, the Men in Blue have a balanced squad and that is massive.
Leading the pack is skipper Kohli himself. He has scored 777 runs in the T20 WC in 16 matches and will be happy to cross 800-plus mark to become the fourth batsman ever to achieve in the mega event.
On the eve of the match, Kohli, in a presser, said that Pakistan have many match-winners in their present team and India need to give their hundred per cent to keep Pakistan at bay in their opener of the showpiece event.
KL Rahul, who will play his 50th T20I if he opens with Rohit Sharma, has amassed 1,557 T20I runs.
Rahul has been in sublime form as he bagged the orange cap in the last IPL season by scoring 670 runs and continued it by hammering a half century against England in the warm-up game.
Rohit, Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant, also will be itching to take on Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim and others to lay the foundation for India to march ahead.
India will look to keep their momentum on a pitch which is lucrative for batsmen. The aggregate runs scored on it in the IPL finals was a massive 357 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah, who has 59 wickets in his kitty will be crucial with the ball for India. Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami and Varun Chakravarthy, will be considered according to the prevailing situation and wicket texture.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur, are the other options for Kohli, in the pace department, and Ravichandran Ashwin and Rahul Chahar, in spin.
Talking about star all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Kohli said he is getting better prepared to bowl.
2009 T20 World Cup champion Pakistan, on the flipside, has a mixed outing in the warm-up games. They lost one and won another. Pakistan skipper needs to get a perfect start and he requires help from his star batsmen Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez.
Shaheen Afridi holds the card for Pakistan in the bowling department to restrict an in-form Indian side.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammed Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammed Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Hasan Ali, Harris Rauf, Shaeen Shah Afridi, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohamed Nawaz, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammed Wasim, Sohaib Maqsood.
Match starts: 7:30 pm IST.

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