Sunday’s action in the Cricket World Cup comes from Old Trafford, Manchester and it’s certain to be a highly charged encounter as unbeaten India clash with Pakistan.
India’s scheduled meeting with New Zealand at Nottingham on Thursday was abandoned without a ball being bowled and their record so far now comprises of 2 wins and 1 no result. The victories came against the Proteas at Southampton by 6 wickets and they followed up against Australia where a bat first total of 352/5 was 36 runs too many for the Aussies. Rohit Sharma was a centurion against South Africa and Shikhar Dhawan made it to 3 figures against Australia but Dhawan has picked up an injury and is expected to miss the next 3 matches.
India are currently trading at 12/5 second favourites to win the tournament, 8/10 to reach the final and 1/12 to reach the semi finals.
Rohit Sharma is leading run scorer for India with 179, Shikhar Dhawan has made 125 and Virat Kohli has 100. With the ball Chahal has taken 6 wickets whilst Kumar and Bumrah have 5.
This was how India lined up against Australia the last time they took to the field.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan’s most recent outing saw them lose to Australia by 41 runs at Taunton on Wednesday and they now have 1 win, 2 defeats and 1 no result against their name.
They opted to bowl first on Wednesday and although Australia piled on 146 for their first wicket in just 22.1 overs, Pakistan fought back. Mohammad Amir was their stand out bowler, taking 5 wickets for just 30 runs in his 10 overs. In the chase Imam-ul-Haq made 53 at the top of the order but Pakistan stumbled from 136/2 to 160/6 in a crucial period of the game. There were useful contributions from a number of batsmen including scores in the 40’s for Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed and Wahab Riaz but the big individual score was missing and they came up short, all out for 266 with 4.2 overs remaining.
Prior to that defeat Pakistan’s clash with Sri Lanka was completely washed out and in their earlier results they lost to West Indies by 7 wickets but then turned England over by 14 runs.
Pakistan are now trading at around 33/1 to win the tournament, 10/1 to reach the final and 4/1 to reach the semi finals.
Mohammad Hafeez is leading run scorer for Pakistan with 146 runs in the tournament so far, Babar Azam has a total of 115 and Sarfaraz Ahmed has made 103. Mohammad Amir is leading wicket taker with 10 and Wahab Riaz has 4.
This was how Pakistan lined up against Australia.
Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk/ capt), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Amir
Head to Head
The teams have met 131 times with India winning 54, Pakistan have won 73 with 4 no results,
The most recent meetings came in the Asia Cup in September 2018 and India won both matches by margins of 8 wickets and 9 wickets.
These teams also contested the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy at The Oval and Pakistan won that game by 180 runs.
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This Indian side look the real deal and Pakistan will need to find the sort of performance that saw them upset England if they are to be competitive.
Taking the emotion out of the equation will be no easy task given what’s riding on any India v Pakistan clash and especially so in a World Cup.
The man best equipped to do just that is Virat Kohli who has made one score in the 80’s earlier in the tournament so a 50 would seem to be well within his compass.
Babar Azam might not be at that level of Kohli but he has the talent to score big if he handles the occasion.
Batsman to score a Fifty in the match , Virat Kohli? (yes) at 11/10
Batsman to score a Fifty in the match , Babar Azam? (yes) at 7/4