India and Pakistan are set to renew their storied rivalry in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Sunday. The two arch-rivals are beginning their campaign in the tournament with the widely anticipated match. India had beaten England and Australia in their warm-up matches before the tournament and will arrive in confidence for the blockbuster clash. Pakistan, on the other hand, had beaten the West Indies in their first warm-up game before going down to South Africa in their second.
According to former England captain Michael Vaughan, India are the favourites for Sunday’s game.
India and Pakistan engage in ICC T20 World Cup blockbuster face-off and it is something that transcends the 22-yard strip. This will be the two arch-rivals’ opening game of the tournament and both sides will be looking for the best start possible by securing victory in the match. Both teams have players with proven international records in the game’s shortest format and are big-ticket influencers of their franchise teams. If this was a game of a bilateral series without the hype of the T20 World Cup, the odds would have been even. Historically, India has prevailed in these games of fine margins by not allowing the moment to overpower their mind space.
All eyes will be on Virat Kohli and Babar Azam ahead of the India vs Pakistan blockbuster clash in Dubai as the two arch-rivals get ready to battle it out in their opening match of the Super 12 stage of the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021. Team India will hope to seal a win and get their campaign off to a good start against a top-notch Pakistan team, which has a number of match winners in its line-up. For India, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and the skipper himself will hold key, while Pakistan will be expecting a lot from their bowling attack which includes the likes of Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan. Mohammad Rizwan has been in stellar form with the bat for Pakistan along with captain Babar. The experienced duo of Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez are expected to start the match too. For India, Jasprit Bumrah will hold the key in the bowling department while Kohli will have to decide how many spinners he will play against a sub-continental opponent. India included MS Dhoni in their support staff as a mentor for this tournament and Kohli will look to extract most from the former Indian captain.
Taking to Twitter, Vaughan said that India could be “too strong” for Pakistan. His prediction, however, came with the caveat that Pakistan could also win against any team in these conditions.
“India should be too strong for Pakistan today .. But this Pakistan team in these conditions could beat anyone .. Hearing 1 Billion will be watching globally .. India to win .. #India vs Pakistan #T20WorldCup,” Vaughan tweeted on Sunday.
India should be too strong for Pakistan today .. But this Pakistan team in these conditions could beat anyone .. Hearing 1 Billion will be watching globally .. India to win .. #India vs Pakistan #T20WorldCup
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 24, 2021
History also favours the Virat Kohli-led Indian cricket team. Against Pakistan, India have never lost a World Cup, be it the ODI or the T20 event.
In seven ODI World Cup matches, India have won seven against Pakistan.
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On the other hand, India have also beaten Pakistan in five out of five meetings in the T20 World Cup, including one in a bowl-out.
Two two sides also famously met in the final of the inaugural edition, which India won by five runs to claim the title.
India Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav/Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami
Pakistan Probable XI: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali/Haider Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf