India and Pakistan locking horns in a World Cup is as big a cricket match as it gets,
Not just do we get to see full stands but there are rarely any cricket fans who wouldn’t be glued to their TV screens across the world.
In recent times, the hype has taken new heights with both teams playing some top-class cricket. While India vs Pakistan is a mega battle in itself, there are many mini battles that are more or less likely to decide the result of the match on October 23 in the T20 World Cup. Here’s a look at a few of the key battles:
Shaheen Afridi vs Indian top-order
A fierce left-arm pacer up against three of the top batters in the world. Isn’t it some contest? Shaheen Afridi, who recently made a comeback after injury, was a major threat for India the last time these two sides clashed in the World Cup. Can he reproduce the magic with the ball or Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will emerge on top?
India’s top order has had problems facing left-arm pace, so Shaheen will undoubtedly enter the contest with an edge. But one shouldn’t rule out the fact that KL, Rohit and Virat are champion players and they would have the plan to counter Shaheen.
Pakistan openers vs India’s new-ball bowlers
Pakistan openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been the most impressive pair in the T20Is recently. They remained unbeaten when India and Pakistan faced each other in T20 World Cup last year and have piled up several 100-plus opening stands since.
With India’s bowling supremo Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the tournament, the onus will be on new-ball experts Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh. If they manage to get one or both of them earlier on, it will be tough for Pakistan to post or chase a big total.
Pakistan spinners vs India’s middle order
Surkyakumar Yadav, who is likely to bat at No. 4 for India in the World Cup, is in form of his life. He is particularly excellent against spin. Similarly, Hardik Pandya likes to take on the spinners too. But Pakistan’s Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz have been bowling brilliantly in recent times.
So, this battle is going to be a top one. If Pakistan spinners failed to stop Suryakumar and Hardik in the middle overs, they are capable of taking away the game from them on their own.