India & Pakistan, the two Asian nations sharing common cricketing heritage will again meet after a long time since their last encounter in 4th Group-B match of the ICC World Cup at Adelaide, Feb 15, 2015 where India had defeated their arch-rivals by a staggering 76 runs.
The two teams will lock their horns on 4th June at 3:00 P:M (IST) at the Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham previously where the cricket fans witnessed a rain-wash in the match played between New Zealand & Australia, and the two teams had to share points.
In this small tournament of mere 15 matches that too including 2 Semi-Finals & a Final it becomes imperatively necessary for a team to win all the matches to secure a good berth in the Semis but fate had decided something notorious already. But we hope that this high-voltage match isn’t affected even a bit by the rains and the ditchy weather.
India having won 5 matches out of last 8 played games in the 2016/17 season against the New Zealand & England where India won the series from both of the teams by 3-2 & 2-1 respectively.
Whereas Pakistan too is not good with records and had mixed feelings in the past 8 matches where they lost a series in home to the Australians by humiliating 4-1 defeat but regained their momentum against the West Indies by defeating them by 2-1.
India surely have an edge over their arch-rivals with the presence of the skipper Virat Kohli and experienced Mahendra Singh Dhoni, also the quadro of Shami, Bumrah, Yadav and Bhuvi is currently the most disastrous combination of four bowlers which can cause havoc in the batting line ups of the opponents.
Though couple of them lack the necessary pace, but their devotion and consistency to line and length and also expertise of bowling yorkers in the death overs especially by the Bumrah and Yadav.
Pakistan once feared for Akram, Waqar & Imran has surely now dipped into the sea of divergence but Wahab Riaz can be a big head-ache for the Indian Team, it would be interesting to see how the spell of Riaz unfolds for the Indian Team and whether he can pick up a bounty or two for his captain S. Ahmed. Batting line-up of Pakistan seems decent with A. Ali, Shehzad, Hafeez, Malik & Akmal, whereas Indian dressing room would be cheering up for the giant and biggie Yuvraj & Rohit Sharma.
Though Edgbaston, Birmingham seems to be a batting paradise on papers, the author’s take is whosoever wins the toss should elect to bowl first given the cloud cover to be set around and also the slight green patches would help the seamers and the pacers early on. Since the last match was washed off due to heavy rains, the pitch is expected to be a bit moist and so the outfields to be fast and skiddery. It would be interesting to see how the Pakistani batsmen would face difficulties in facing early in-swings and out-swings of Bhuvi, provided India bowls first.
Probable Playing XIs
Virat Kohli (c), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, R. Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, Umesh Yadav
S Ahmed (c), U Akmal (wk), S Malik, M Hafeez, B Azam, A Shehzad, A Ali, M Amir, Wahab Riaz, J Khan, S Khan
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