Date & Time: Sunday, June 16, 15:00 IST
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Will the rain hold on for the mega contest?
It’s India vs Pakistan! It doesn’t get any better than this to catch all the eyeballs around the world. There is so much more than just cricket to this arch-rivalry contest. But hold-on, to go any further, the rain Gods should pause a while so that we can witness one of the mega events of this World Cup. If the rain stays away, we are up for a thrilling contest as India look to continue the winning streak and on the other hand, Pakistan who are in a tricky situation will try hard to keep their hopes high to partake in the semifinals.
India is likely to bring in Vijay Shankar in place of the injured Dhawan. Rahul is likely to take the opening duties. Pakistan might consider an extra bowler in place of either Shoaib Malik or Asif Ali who have underperformed so far in the tournament.
Old Trafford hasn’t been as high scoring as the other venues in England. The average score of teams that bat first this year domestic One Day cricket is around 239. Pacers have enjoyed more success. On Sunday, it might be the same as the forecast is for rain for most part of the day.
The Indian Captain always looks for contests within a contest and against Pakistan he has a handful of them to thrive on. Coming to the World Cup, he is slowly getting into the grooves in the tournament and the last innings against Australia will keep him in good stead to come up with a big knock. He has a good record against most Pakistan bowlers except Amir, who has been trouble for him irrespective of the format. He has scored 14 runs in 18 balls and has been dismissed once in the last two encounters against Amir.
He has a great record against Pakistan in the last couple of years where he has scored 89, 0, 52 & 111. It shows once he gets in, he will make a big score. But in order to get in, he has to tackle Amir, against whom he has struggled early in his innings. He has scored 34 runs in 56 balls and got out once to him in the last 2 encounters.
If Pakistan has to put India under pressure early in the innings, Amir has to replicate his heroics of Champions Trophy 2017 final, where he dismissed Rohit and Virat in quick succession. There are more chances for him to repeat the feat with conditions likely to aid swing, that which the Indian batsmen are not so good at. His past record against them will give the much-needed edge.
The veteran has a good record against Indian bowlers, more than any other Pakistan batsmen. This makes him a worthy pick for Dream11 fantasy cricket players for today’s match. His present form might also come in handy to continue the good record against their arch-rivals. He has a strike rate of 120 and 144 against Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Bumrah respectively, with at least 10 balls faced.