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The Financial Express

Reasons why Pakistan can finally beat India in World Cup


Photo: ESPNcricinfo Photo: ESPNcricinfo

As the India Pakistan clash brings cricket fans all over the world tonight to witness a game that will have the highest of intensities, for people in India and Pakistan, it has always been a game with bragging rights at stake; a game that is not for losing.

Team Pakistan is yet to taste victory against India in World Cups but, heading into the match with all the probabilities and possibilities, Babar Azam and his men can finally break the deadlock taking into consideration the following reasons.

Captain Kohli under pressure

The decision from Indian skipper Virat Kohli to captain India in T20Is one last time in this World Cup came before the World Cup took center stage. 

On his last captaincy assignment for India in T20Is, Kohli will be looking forward to making this a memorable World Cup for both himself and for team India. However, things haven’t gone so smoothly for Kohli as India captain who is yet to win a major trophy for his country during his captaincy tenure. 

A man who is on a mission to win a trophy for India will definitely be under pressure to accomplish that and team Pakistan can definitely look to exploit their opposition captain who is under pressure. 

Virat has never captained team India in a T20I against Pakistan before and his record in ODIs against Pakistan is 2-2 meaning team India under Kohli has surely faltered before when the opposition was Pakistan.

The UAE experiences

Though the Indian players have gathered some experience playing in UAE, thanks to the IPL, however, the Pakistani players have been playing in UAE for years now before cricket returned to Pakistan. 

Pakistan has played 36 T20Is in the UAE, out of which 26 have been at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the venue where the India and Pakistan clash will take place. 

On the other hand, India are yet to play a T20I in Dubai; in fact this will be the first time they will play a T20 in the UAE.

Babar and Rizwan’s reliability

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and wicket-keeper batter Mohammad Rizwan have been two stalwarts for the Pakistan top order in recent years. The pair averages 52.10 and has a run rate of 9.16. 

If team India fails to find answers to dismiss the Babar-Rizwan pair, Pakistan will definitely have the upper hand.

Middle Order Experience

Pakistan can rely heavily on Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik in the middle order due to their years of experience playing the format. Hafeez and Malik have played a combined 229 T20I matches. 

 

The unpredictability of the T20 format

Although India has had the last laugh when it comes to T20Is against Pakistan, winning 7 out of their 8 encounters, however, the format T20 always presents itself with an unpredictability factor. 

For Pakistan to beat India, T20s have to be their most suited format to come top against their arch-rivals. Babar Azam and Co will be looking forward to winning the crucial moments of the game that comes around pretty quickly in this format.

Absence of Dhoni on the field

In the last 8 India-Pakistan T20 matches, it’s been MS Dhoni who has led the men in blue and has been successful as the records will show. 

However, this time around, he will only be present as a mentor and it will be Virat Kohli who has to lead the team. In a match-up where there will be pressure to absorb in every delivery team, India might just miss the calmness and tactics on the field from MS Dhoni.

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