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Old foes resume rivalry - India v Pakistan - Match Preview

Both Sarfraz Ahmed (left) and Virat Kohli will be desperate to lead their team to victory
Both Sarfraz Ahmed (left) and Virat Kohli will be desperate to lead their team to victory
©REUTERS
 

4th Match, Group B: India v Pakistan in Birmingham
3rd June | 10:30 local | 09:30 GMT

In what will be one of the most awaited contest of the tournament, both India and Pakistan are set to resume their rivalry when they meet each other in the Group B clash of the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Pakistan have a overwhelming record against India in their head to head battle but have struggle to cope up with the evolution of the game which needed an attacking mentality and more importantly they have always struggled in facing India in International Cricket Council events. Ever since Inzamam ul Haq took over the chief selector role, he has been proactive. Azhar Ali was removed from captaincy and Sarfraz Ahmed was handed the role and more emphasis was given on fitness which saw the withdrawal of Umar Akmal from the squad.

The battles in the past has been decided by how the Indian batting fared against the famed bowling attack of Pakistan and this time it seems no different. Even though, they are ranked eighth in the rankings table, Sarfraz insisted that the team has always had extra motivation when facing India and more so now considering an increased political tension between the countries.

On the other hand, India will have an unlikely tag of one of the best all-round side in this tournament with the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah and that too in-form can challenge any batting attack. India will have few selection concerns as Yuvraj Singh missed out the warm-up game due to fitness but will Kohli prefer having someone like Dinesh Karthik, who looked in excellent touch against Bangladesh over the southpaw? Also the team management will be tempted to have Hardik Pandya drafted in at the expense of a spinner.

Head to Head Record:

In the 127 games played between the two teams, India have managed wins in just 51 games while Pakistan have won 72. However, since 2010, the two teams have met each other just nine times, with India winning six out of it.

Pakistan have never beaten India in six World Cup games and five World T20 teams but enjoy a success of two wins from three games in Champions Trophy that came in 2004 and 2009 but lost the 2013 face-off.

Spotlight on:

Bhuvneshwar Kumar - He is coming from a fantastic Indian Premier League tournament where he emerged as the leading wicket-taker. He carried his form into the warm-up games picking six wickets from two games against New Zealand and Bangladesh while enjoying a success of nine wickets against Pakistan from five matches.

Mohammad Amir - The last time these two teams met during the World T20 tournament, Amir troubled the Indian top-order, picking the wicket of Rohit Sharma and beating Virat Kohli on several occasions. This will indeed be an intriguing battle especially with the new ball.

Probable Team:

India: 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli (captain), 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. MS Dhoni (wk), 6. Kedar Jadhav, 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Ravindra Jadeja, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Mohammad Shami, 11. Umesh Yadav

Pakistan: 1. Azhar Ali, 2. Ahmed Shehzad, 3. Babar Azam, 4. Mohammad Hafeez, 5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Sarfraz Ahmed (captain) (wk), 7. Imad Wasim, 8. Faheem Ashraf / Shadab Khan, 9. Mohammad Amir, 10. Junaid Khan, 11. Hasan Ali

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