Pakistan team celebrating after taking a wicket during T20 World Cup warm-up match. — Instagram/@therealPCB


Pakistan team celebrating after taking a wicket during T20 World Cup warm-up match. — Instagram/@therealPCB

Pakistan and India, the two cricket giants in Asia, will clash in a much-hyped match in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup today, Geo News reported Sunday. 

The Group 2 high-voltage clash, which is the 16th match of the world’s biggest cricket event, will begin at 1pm today at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), a cricket stadium that can house 100,000 spectators.

Starting their World Cup journey in today’s faceoff, the Men in Green will hit the ground with the confidence of their ten-wicket win against India in the last T20 World Cup. However, their arch-rivals have an impressive history of winning nine of the 12 T20 matches versus Pakistan.

Before the team left for Australia, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ramiz Raja advised the Babar Azam-led team to dream of winning the tournament. He said, “World Cup is a mind game. It is a task of not losing courage and a fulfilment of a dream — which is to win a world cup.”

Pakistan’s bowling line-up has been laced with Shaheed Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah. Shaheen seems fully energised after his relatively long rehabilitation in London. However, batter Fakhar Zaman will not be available for this match owing to his injury. 

The buoyant Men in Green have a high chance of reenacting their historic moment at the MCG thirty years ago when they won the 50-over World Cup.

India have always been declared the pre-WC favourites in the last two decades. However, they could not lift any ICC cup since the 2013 Champions Trophy. India stands a chance to change the history of the world cup with one of the most formidable lineups in the world this time around.

The Indian side enjoys an enviable batting lineup including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav, to name a few. Meanwhile, Pakistan have Babar Azam and Rizwan who are the top-ranked batters in the world.

The ICC said the tickets for the blockbuster match were sold out within minutes of going on sale.

Squads

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicket-keeper/batter), Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Shan Masood.

Standby Players: Usman Qadir, Mohammad Haris, and Shahnawaz Dahani.

India squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, and Mohammed Shami.

Standby Players: Mohammed Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Shardul Thakur.



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