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World Cup preview – India v Pakistan: Let the party begin

A contest between India and Pakistan is considered to be the 'Mother of all Battles.'

India will take on Pakistan in the World Cup for the seventh time on Sunday. Sadly, it looks like the match will be washed out because of rain.

A contest between India and Pakistan is considered to be the ‘Mother of all Battles.’ It is a contest of India’s batting against Pakistan’s bowling, and this has been the case ever since these two teams have started playing against each other. It will be interesting to see how Pakistan cope with India under such pressure.

Since the previous match washed out against New Zealand, India would be keen to take two points here. They have been in great form and would not like to miss an opportunity to showcase their dominance just because of rain. At this moment, India is pretty strong in both batting and bowling and one of the best side when it comes to fielding. Pakistan is a no match when it comes to batting and fielding against India.

The overcast condition may force India to play Vijay Shankar as the fourth seamer. KL  Rahul will open in Dhawan’s place with Rohit Sharma, followed by Kohli and Vijay. The first four needs to bat for at least 35 overs so that Dhoni, Jadhav, and Pandya who play at number 5, 6 and 7 can go after the bowling straightaway. This batting line up looks very strong, but with Pakistan bowling at them in the overcast condition, you never know what holds in the future.

Pakistan, on the other hand, struggling and would require to put their best effort to win this match. In 1992 they were in the same position after four games. They Lost 2, won 1 and one match was washed out. Despite such performance, they went on to win the World Cup. Can they repeat the history in 2019?

Surprisingly, Pakistani batsmen are playing exceptionally well in the last 2 months, and scoring runs heavily in this tournament. Except for the first match, they have been batting brilliantly and also their bowling has been seriously good.

It is no secret that Pakistan’s strength is in their bowling, and they should always bat first because they are very good at defending even the low totals. It has been often seen that the Pakistani batsmen crumbled under pressure, especially when they are chasing. So they should win the toss and bat first even if the condition is overcast because if India survives for the first few overs without losing a wicket, then they are going to milk their bowling because India has the strongest batting line-up in this World Cup.

Players to watch out for

Jasprit Bumrah, the best bowler of the present generation, must be waiting for this contest to happen. In 2017 Champions Trophy Final he crashed the wickets of Fakhar Zaman, but the umpires checked for the no-ball, and it was found that Bumrah had overstepped and it was called a No ball. Fakhar Zaman went on to score the hundred for his team and helped Pakistan to win the contest. Can Bumrah change his fortunes this time?

Shoaib Malik has always performed well against India in ODI. He has not done anything worth mentioning in the World Cup so far. However, he would be eager to perform for the team at a stage where a win will give them the confidence to win the World Cup. He can bowl off-spin and also provide stability to the middle order.

India v Pakistan in ODIs:

Overall: Matches 131, India Won 54, Pakistan Won 73, No Result 4

World Cup: Matches 6, India Won 6, Pakistan Won 0

Recent Form (most recent first): India NR W W L L, Pakistan L NR W L L

ICC Rankings: India (2), Pakistan (6)

Upcoming Records:

Virat Kohli needs 57 more runs to reach the 11,000 runs milestone, and he will be the 3rd Indian after Tendulkar and Ganguly to reach the milestone.

Shoaib Malik has taken 98 catches and needs two more to reach the 100 catches milestone.

Hardik Pandya needs six wickets to reach 50 wickets milestone in ODIs.


India: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

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