Melbourne [Australia], October 23 (ANI): The much-awaited clash between India and Pakistan will take place at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with over a lakh fans’ presence and if the recent encounters are any indicators, the match may end up going to the wire.
The game could also be touted as the battle between India’s batting-heavy side pitted against the fierce and formidable bowling attack of Pakistan, since the Pakistani bowlers made the difference when the two teams took on each other in the last edition of the T20 World Cup in 2021.
There will be quite a few matchups thought out the game with India’s openers looking to dominate the pace troika of Shaheen Afridi, Harris Rauf and Naseem Shah.
It was not a long time ago that the Pakistani pace attack made early inroads into the Indian batting lineup in the T20 World Cup last year.
While India will look to counter the Pakistani pace battery, it will be a challenge for the Men in Green to stop Suryakumar Yadav as he has been in great form since the time he donned the Indian jersey.
The number one T20I side, India will be looking forward to avenging their loss to Pakistan at the previous edition of the T20 World Cup back in 2021 and the most recent loss in Asia Cup 2022, which proved to be a key reason why India failed to qualify for the final of the tournament in which it had headed as defending champions.
India and Pakistan met at Asia Cup twice, with India winning the group-stage encounter and Pakistan winning the Super 4 clash. Both matches were thrillers and satiated fans’ appetite for some all-time fierce cricket between these two giants.
After their Asia Cup, India has shown great form, having won the home series against Australia and South Africa, with their batting being an asset in most matches. However, it is their death bowling where the Men in Blue have been found wanting, especially after the exit of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah due to a back injury.
India will take confidence from the fact that they won their warm-up match against the current T20 World Champions, defending 11 off the last over. The biggest positive from the match being the superb bowling of Mohammad Shami.
The absence of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has left team India struggling to find a balance though spinner Axar Patel has proven to be a tremendous like-to-like replacement for his senior left-hander with his bowling.
Batting pretty much looks settled for India, with Virat Kohli having regained form, KL Rahul having fired some solid knocks leading up to the match and skipper Rohit Sharma maintaining his aggressive intent at the top.
Pakistan can exploit the absence of left-hand batters from India. The Men in Green are heading into the match after a tri-nation series win over New Zealand and Bangladesh. The series proved to be good preparation for the team.
Babar Azam’s men, semifinalists last time in 2021, will be looking forward to clinching the trophy this time around. Its top order consisting of Azam and star batter Mohammad Rizwan are firing on all cylinders and pace attack leader Shaheen Afridi’s return and good performances in warm-up matches are also good signs for Pakistan.
Afridi was the wreaker-in-chief when the two teams met in the T20 World Cup last time. The left-arm pacer would be looking to repeat the performance.
However, an inconsistent middle order has been a case of concern that Pakistan would like to address. Likes of Fakhar Zaman, Khusdil Shah, Shan Masood and Iftikhar Ahmed have not delivered great performances consistently. Mohammad Nawaz though performed well with the bat in the later part of the series helping his team clinch the T20 Tri-Series.
The match will broadcast in India at 1:30 PM, which translates to around 7 PM in Melbourne. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.