Cricket isn’t cricket without Indo-Pak contests. It is the mother of all contests. Today the two Asian giants are set to lock horns with each other in World Twenty20 group stage match at Eden Gardens, Kolkata. People of both countries are eagerly waiting for this match. Every cricket lover will be glued to their TV screens when the arch-rivals India and Pakistan confront each other. Defeat for the fans of both countries is just unbearable. They just want their teams to win the match at any cost. It’s a final before the final. During the contest between the two countries, every individual will be praying for their team’s success, forgetting all kinds of differences and yearning for their team’s victory.
If one goes by World Twenty20 history alone, the scale tied in the favour of India who have 4-0 lead over Pakistan. Pakistan has never beaten India in any World Cup (One Day or Twenty20). Pakistan will be looking to change the history by beating India in the upcoming match. On the other hand, India will be looking to maintain their winning streak against Pakistan.
Pakistan was under immense pressure before their opening match of the World T20 against Bangladesh because of their poor performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup T20. They couldn’t make it to the final and lost against India and Bangladesh miserably. Bowlers did quite a good job but our batting let us down. Bowling has never been the issue for Pakistan, the only weakness is their fragile batting line-up. If Pakistan wants to do well in this tournament then their batsmen must have to play responsible cricket and not throw their wickets away by playing careless shots.
The victory against Bangladesh in the opening match at Eden Gardens will definitely have boosted the morale of the team. Pakistan put up a good total of 201 runs on the board and won the match comprehensively by 55 runs. 201 is also the highest ever total for Pakistan in World T20. All the batsmen performed brilliantly which is definitely a very good sign for Pakistan. Muhammad Hafeez, who scored just 52 runs in last 6 T20Is with an average of below 9, went on to score 64 against Bangladesh. He bats at the most crucial position of one down therefore it’s good for Pakistan that he’s back in form. Both the openers Sharjeel Khan and Ahmad Shahzad were also looking in good touch. Shahzad scored a brilliant half century. Shahid Afridi, the skipper, also got himself back in form. He came to bat up the order and scored a quick-fire 49 off 19 including 4 sixes and 4 fours. He also picked up 2 important wickets and was named Man Of The match for his all-round performance. All the things are going in the right direction for Pakistan at the moment. Bowlers are already doing amazing job and getting your batsmen back in form is icing on the cake.
India will be under huge pressure when they play against Pakistan in their 2nd group stage match. They were completely outclassed by New Zealand in the opening match of World T20. Indian team got out on just 79 runs in chase of 126 runs total set by the Kiwis and lost the match by 47 runs. Losing the first match of the tournament definitely takes the team under a lot of pressure. But Indian team has the ability to bounce back and get out of the pressure. They will have a psychological advantage over Pakistan as they haven’t lost to them in a World cup match. They also defeated Pakistan in the Asia Cup match getting them out on just 83 runs.
India has the world’s best batting line-up without any doubt. They have a world class batsman in the shape of Virat Kohli. He is amazingly consistent with his form. He can single-handedly take the game away from the opposition. Shikhar Dhawan is also in good touch. He scored a 50 in the Asia Cup final against Bangladesh. Rohit Sharma will also be looking to put an impact in the match against Pakistan. He’s another fantastic player for India. It will be a very good contest between Indian batting and Pakistan’s bowling.
Keep an eye on
Muhammad Amir has been performing superbly since his return to international cricket. He is bowling with good pace and getting the ball in to the right handers. His four overs will be very crucial.
Virat Kohli is a run machine for India. He is a big match player and no match can be bigger than Indo-Pak contest. He holds a very good record against Pakistan.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.