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India vs Pakistan: Five Key Player Battles That Will Decide Fate of The Match

Cricketnext Staff |June 16, 2019, 7:58 AM IST
India vs Pakistan: Five Key Player Battles That Will Decide Fate of The Match

Both history and the form book will go out of the window when India meet Pakistan in their league match at the ICC World Cup 2019 in Manchester. While India sit pretty in the top half of the table, Pakistan is in the bottom half. And with both sides looking to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the semi-final with a win in this crucial encounter, we take a look at the five key battles that will go a long way in deciding who comes out on top.

Rohit Sharma vs Mohammad Amir:

Rohit vs Amir

Having already scored a century in the tournament, Rohit Sharma will be eager to give his side another good start regardless of whether India are batting first or second. However, standing in his way will be the pace bowling threat of Mohammad Amir, who had had a history with the Indian opener before and comes into the game on the back of a superb spell against Australia. In the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy which Pakistan won, Amir had dismissed Sharma for a duck with just his third delivery. So when the two go head-to-head once again, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top this time around, as both Sharma and Amir are crucial to their side’s chances of victory.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Fakhar Zaman:

Bumrah vs Zaman

Since making his international debut, Jasprit Bumrah has swiftly gone on to become one of the most important parts of the Indian side. His unwavering accuracy has been the downfall of many a batsman in the past, and he will be aiming to replicate his 2018 Asia Cup performance against Pakistan when the sides meet once again. His bowling figures of 10-1-29-2 were instrumental in bundling out Pakistan for a total of just over 160. On the other hand, Fakhar Zaman is one of the most mercurial batsmen in the Pakistani ranks and can be close to unstoppable when on song. It was Zaman who set the tone for his side in the Champions Trophy final in 2017 and he will be hoping to do just the same.

Virat Kohli vs Wahab Riaz:

Kohli vs Riaz

Indian captain Virat Kohli, the team’s batting talisman is a player that can always be relied upon, no matter what the situation is in the match. He has demonstrated this time and time again by stepping up to the plate when most needed, and in the match against Pakistan, Kohli’s importance certainly cannot be underestimated. For Pakistan, the experienced Wahab Riaz will be looking to dismiss the Indian captain as early as possible, for when Kohli is given time to get his eye in, he is the most dangerous. Riaz’s fiery spell to Australian Shane Watson in the quarter-final of the 2015 World Cup is still fresh in the memory, and he will need to come up with something similar to trouble the Indian captain.

MS Dhoni vs Shoaib Malik:

Dhoni vs Malik

If and when MS Dhoni does walk out to bat against Pakistan, it will likely be in a situation where the run-rate will need accelerating either during the first innings or while chasing the Pakistan target. It is during these overs that Dhoni is likely to face the crafty spin of Shoaib Malik, whose experience will be vital in a match of this magnitude. Dhoni will have to negotiate the challenge well, as any positive impact by Malik would mean that the Indian tail gets exposed sooner than the Men in Blue would like.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Imam-ul-Haq:

Kumar vs Imam

Swing bowling and Bhuvneshwar Kumar go hand in hand. Kumar swinging it away from a left-hander? Even more lethal. This might just be the story when the talented Imam-ul-Haq squares up to Kumar at the other end of the pitch and is a battle that will make for some very keen viewing for the purists. Imam would do well to approach the match without any pressure, having already said that the match in Manchester is going to be a “huge pressure game”. Without the added baggage of expectations, Imam is a treat to watch, and the potential encounter against Kumar is likely to be a cat and mouse game.​

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more