This is the first match of the second round with the two arch-rivals playing each other for the fourth time in World T20 cricket. Interestingly, India has never lost to Pakistan in either World Cup or World T20 cricket, having played them on eight occasions before this. The world cup rivalry between these two countries is always intense. It is very important match for both the teams. “The focus is not the opposition team, the focus is on playing good so that winning the first match will build momentum for us” said Rohit Sharma.
Pakistan has won just one of their five T20 clashes against India and they have never beaten India in eight clashes in the World Cup (5 in ODIS and 3 in T20s). Thus India will try to maintain their record while Pakistan with better T20 side will try to break that record. Pakistan with all-round spin strength will attack Indian batsman and that game will once again be about Pakistan’s bowling vs India’s batting. With the return of Dhoni in team will boost up the squad, MS Dhoni leadership quality is the key factor for the side.
Players to watch out for –
- Saeed Ajmal is the second highest wicket-taker in the World T20.
- Indian openers got going during the 2012 World T20. This time, though they can hope for better with an in-form Shikhar Dhawan & Rohit Sharma capable of tearing into any attack in the world.
- Ashwin and Jadeja, control the middle of the innings superbly, and aren’t shy of bowling a high-pressure overs in the end either.
- Sharjeel Khan is the key man at the top order for Pakistan.
- Kamran Akmal, who has played all the previous World T20s, is back in the team after an year in the wilderness.
When it comes to an India-Pakistan match in world cups, how can one forget some of the most memorable clashes these teams have provided? Right from the world cup in 1992 to World T20 in Sri Lanka in 2012. One of those was the epic encounter in Bangalore in the quarter final of 1996 world cup when Ajay Jadeja smashed Waqar Younis for 40 runs in his last 2 overs which changed the course of the match and threw Pakistan out of the tournament. The epic encounter of 2003 world cup in Centurion where Sachin played a world class innings of 98 to see India through against one of the most fearsome attacks in world cricket in the form of Wasim, Waqar and Shoaib Akhtar.
When it comes to T20, the mind straightway recalls the most epic encounter between these 2 teams – the final of the 1st World Cup T20 2007. Who can ever forget that Misbah scoop of Joginder Sharma which went straight into the hands of Sreesanth and India became champions of the 1st ever T20 world cup.
Pakistan, right now, is in better form after winning some crucial encounters in recently concluded Asia cup. This is probably Pakistan’s best chance to beat India in a world cup game which they have never done before. As far as India is concerned, past few months have been very difficult for them especially because of the under-performing fast bowling department. They have come really close to winning some of those matches but have fallen short in the end. But T20 is a game of glorious uncertainties. An over can change the course of a match in minutes. We have to wait and watch if India continues their dominance against Pakistan in world cups or Pakistan finally breaks their losing streak.
PS: The article in written by CricBol.com intern Aakash Arora.