Manchester: Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are facing each other in the much-anticipated World Cup match at the Old Trafford in Greater Manchester. Good heavens, that downpour have not been there and the match has started at the usual time at 3 PM (IST).
Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed won the toss and asked India to bat first in their World Cup group stage encounter. KL Rahul along with Rohit Sharma opened the innings for the Indian side. India brought in Vijay Shankar for the injured Shikhar Dhawan, while Pakistan have brought back spinners Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim in place of Shaheen Afridi and Asif Ali.
For India, this match is very important. It has earlier won the firs two matches against South Africa and Australia and the match against New Zealand was washed out and both teams took home one point each. On the other hand, Pakistan has only won one out of the four matches they have played, while losing two and one being abandoned due to rains.
If we have a look back at the history, that too favours India. The Men in Blue have never lost a match to Pakistan. In that last five years too, India has won six of the last seven matches played against Pakistan across all formats, and thus, Virat Kohli’s men would be brimming with confidence considering their past record against the arch-rivals.
And if the record is to be followed, team India is a hot favourite for the punters.
Pakistan, on the other hand, would be aiming to break the jinx and secure their first World Cup victory against India. However, it would require a formidable performance for the 1992 champions to overcome Kohli’s men.
Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side made a horrible start to their World Cup campaign as they suffered a crushing defeat against West Indies in their tournament opener. However, they came back strongly and registered a remarkable win against England. But against Australia, they failed to maintain their consistency and had to face a 41-run defeat in Taunton.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan (Playing XI): Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk/c), Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir Â.
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