One of the biggest matches in sport and unarguably the biggest of the group round of this ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and Wales is finally here, as India will take on their fierce rivals Pakistan in Birmingham on Sunday.
India-Pakistan matches are awaited by two cricket-frenzy nations who will put aside everything, even breathing oxygen just to sit down and watch the rivals take on each other. This match has so much weightage and money pouring in from everywhere that, forget the fans; even the ICC has virtually admitted to slightly tweaking the draws of the groups in global competitions just to see India and Pakistan have a go at each other’s throat.
India are going into the match as clear favorites. Largely because Pakistan have fallen behind, the last five “big” matches between these sides – 2012 World T20, 2013 Champions Trophy, 2014 World T20, 2015 World Cup 2015 and 2016 World T20 – have been quite one-sided.
Since the 2000s, India and Pakistan have played 49 One-Day Internationals, with India winning 24 to Pakistan’s 25. In the current decade, the two have played only nine ODIs of which India have won six to Pakistan’s three.
Still, Pakistan have the advantage of having spent more than two weeks in Birmingham, while the defending champions haven’t had a feel of the conditions. At the end of the day, this could be a determining factor of the game.
There are chances of some heavy showers some time during the game and is expected to be a cloudy day all through. It might not be too different to what happened here during the Australia-New Zealand game. Expect little swing, and a lot more cutters from the pacers to be effective. Spinners might not have a big role to play on the pitch being used.
India (possible) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9, 10 and 11 three out of R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav
Pakistan (possible) 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz/Junaid Khan, 11 Hasan Ali
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com