Cricket’s biggest rivalry will take place at Manchester on 16th June. India will lock horns against the Arch-Rivals Pakistan. India would want to retain their winning streak but on the other hand Pakistan would want to end their losing streak against India in the world cup.
Although the skies weren’t completely clear, the weather forecast for Sunday’s game is promising. It is expected to be a little cloudy, but the chances of rain are minimal. It will be a welcome relief for both teams, who have already had washouts in their campaigns. Pakistan saw their game against Sri Lanka in Bristol ruined by rain while India’s match against New Zealand in Nottingham on Thursday suffered the same fate.
After Shikar Dhawan suffered a thumb injury, young Rishabh Pant has arrived at Manchester. Pant will not be a part of the squad and cannot play in any of the matches unless India officially rule Dhawan out of the World Cup. India, though, are not in any hurry to take that step. Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar on Wednesday explained that India do not want to rule out a ‘precious player’ like Dhawan so early, and are instead willing to give him time to recover.
In this world cup India has won 2 of the 3 matches while Pakistan has won only 1 of their 4 matches.
Pitch report at Manchester
The ball is certainly expected to turn and both teams should field their spinners for this clash. Also, the playing surface is usually pretty dry and crusty making the ball ample for reverse swing during the later stages of the innings.
The new ball doesn’t swing too much making this a good batting surface but the overcast conditions expected might turn the fixture to the favour of the bowler.
Head to head records
Overall Pakistan lead 73-54 in 127 completed ODIs against India.
In World Cup: India, meanwhile have never lost to Pakistan in the World Cup and have a huge 6-0 lead over their rivals.
There are always some key players when it comes to big matches. For India the key players are Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Yuzavendra Chahal. For Pakistan they are Babar azam, Facker Zaman and Imam-ul-haq.
India would want both their batsmen and bowlers to fire like the game against Australia. Pakistan’s bowling has done okay but their batsmen need to go all guns blazing against India.
So let us expect one of the most challenging encounters in the history of the World Cup.
By Young Sportsman and Author – Thanmay Manohar