When India and Pakistan lock horns with each other, the excitement obviously takes the rise. No matter how much the captains from each side tag it as “just another game” the pressure and intensity are little higher in comparison to other encounters.
So far in this World Cup, India have had a pretty convincing win (against South Africa and Australia) and had a match washed away due to rain while on the other side, Pakistan are struggling to get their momentum back but Virat Kohli’s side can’t sit back and be at ease. The two teams will take on each other on Sunday in Manchester.
Surely, Pakistan are a tough team but India have more and major concerns. First and foremost in-form Shikhar Dhawan is out for three weeks with a thumb injury and second that India’s two best batsmen at the moment generally struggle against left-arm pacers. We have seen it earlier that how Rohit Sharma fails to read the line of the ball while Kohli is beaten by the length.
Adding to this, the last ICC tournament where the two sides played each other was Champions Trophy 2017. Chasing a mammoth 339, India lost top three in a span of 33 runs and Amir scalped them all. With Amir, Pakistan also have Wahab Riaz who is in good form. Wahab’s pace and the way he peppers batsmen with short deliveries can create problems for Kohli.
As far as India is concerned, they just need to concentrate on these two bowlers and tackle them well.
While India had a nightmare against Pakistan in Champions Trophy 2017, a positive that came out in that match was Hardik Pandya. When Pandya is on the go, the bowlers especially leg-spinner and left-arm orthodox bowlers try to stay away from the attack. Another area where the right-handed batsman is strong is when the bowler bowls him an over-pitched delivery especially on the legs. After MS Dhoni, Pandya has mastered the helicopter shot and executes it well.
Indian bowling line up is looking in good shape too and would look to continue the form. For Pakistan, their major concern is fielding as they have been pretty sloppy in the field and have given away runs regularly.