Match Preview – India vs Pakistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023/24, 12th Match

 – Gudstory

Match Preview – India vs Pakistan, ICC Cricket World Cup 2023/24, 12th Match – Gudstory

Rate this post


The big picture – can teams stop the hype?

There was thunder and lightning. The rain that started out as passing showers turned into a deluge, sending people scrambling for cover to keep them on – guess what? – Their actual match ticket so they can come back the next day to watch a cricket match, and at least the IPL final.

It turned out to be the championship game, and perhaps for many fans, their lives. As people headed out at 3am, more than 30 hours after the match was scheduled to start, many were still celebrating the celebrations that followed the emotional final.

Ahmedabad was the epicenter of Indian cricket that night, and the promise of a similar, and perhaps even greater, occasion later in the year for a match they were certain would be played in Ahmedabad excited them.

That big occasion is almost here.

On Saturday, Ahmedabad will not just be the hub of Indian cricket, but also the hub of world cricket, as 132,000 people – a large portion of them celebrities, industrialists, politicians, friends of politicians and, of course, cricket executives – gather at what they say is the world’s largest stadium. For world cricket to witness a match that creates the cricket economy – despite the lack of bilateral relations.

Welcome to the eighth installment of India vs Pakistan in the Men’s Over-50 World Cup. Depending on whether you plan to wear blue or green that day, you may feel like gloating over this unrivaled record or need a reminder of what a duck you hope to become “one seven”. Literally, it means ‘together’ – like officials from both sides arguing in boardrooms and in the media – but in this cricketing context, it refers to the result Pakistani fans and players are hoping to achieve in the tournament. End of night: 1-7.

Pakistan spent two weeks in Hyderabad and are among the least traveled teams in the current World Cup. Whether on purpose or by accident, that should be a blessing in disguise, because a game of this size will need a lot of recovery anyway. In a roundabout way, perhaps it will be easier for the Pakistani players, as at least they won’t need to fiddle with match tickets for long lists of friends and family – due to all the visa issues.

It’s the kind of game that can occupy mental space for days, if not longer. For example, Sachin Tendulkar revealed that Centurion, and nothing else, was on his mind for over a month, until the two sides met on that memorable day in March 2003, because he was reminded of him wherever he went and by whomever he met – from those on room service duty to Fans to the media. MS Dhoni, whose hotel room was apparently never locked during the tour, decided he needed to make an exception before the 2011 Mohali semi-final.

In short, this is the essence of the confrontation between India and Pakistan.

Form guide

India WWLWW (last five ODIs completed, most recent first)
Pakistan WWLWW

In the spotlight: Jasprit Bumrah and Abdullah Shafiq

Jasprit Bumrah He will play a World Cup match on home soil, but he seems immune to all the pressure. When the inevitable question about facing Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium was asked during a press meet, he joked that he was more keen to quickly return home to visit his mother. And if he’s got his head in the right place, the performance is on his side too: Bumrah heads into the match on the back of an excellent display against Afghanistan, with a four-wicket haul that would have given him match honors on most nights but was overshadowed by Rohit Sharma’s own at the time.

Abdullah Shafiq He would not have played if Fakhar Zaman had shown some semblance of form in the run-up to the tournament. But, on his World Cup debut, his century and partnership with Mohammad Rizwan helped set up a record run chase against Sri Lanka. Expectations are bound to rise, but he seems poised enough to handle the attention that may come his way. Saturday will be a test of that.

Team News: Shubman Gill is very much in the picture

Shubman Gill, who missed India’s first two matches due to dengue, has recovered well enough to have a 99% chance of playing the game. He had a net training session upon his arrival in Ahmedabad, where he joined the rest of the squad after a stint away to recover. If 1% kicks in and Gill doesn’t feature on Saturday, Ishan Kishan will likely continue to open. Just last month, Kishan counter-punched to make an 81-ball 82 against Pakistan in Pallekele, so there is enough recent evidence that he is fully prepared to take on an attack of this quality.

Another question that the team management will face is whether they want to use hard data from the spot, which suggests that pace players have better performances than spin players. In four ODIs here since 2021, bowlers have bowled a greater proportion of spinners (59.8% versus 40.2%) and have taken more wickets (38 to 23 runs). If India agrees to this, they may bet on Mohammed Shami, who has had two IPL stalwarts play their home matches at this venue for the Gujarat Titans. It might mean being a bit thin in the lower order batting. It’s a delicate balance.

India: 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Ishan Kishan/Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin/Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Muhammad Siraj

Pakistan have little reason to change the combination that worked wonders for them against Sri Lanka. There’s just one small concern. While Hasan Ali took four wickets, he was taken seriously. If they are looking for a change, there is a handsome Mohammed waiting for them.

Pakistan: 1 Abdullah Shafique, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Saud Shakeel, 6 Ifthikhar Ahmed, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Shaheen Afridi, 10 Hasan Ali/ Mohammad Wasim, 11 Haris Rauf

Pitch and conditions

Hot and dry on the weather front. There may be some dew later in the evening, which also means that the team that bats first will want to put forth a greater effort. It is a pitch black, next to the one that hosted the opening match of the tournament where the New Zealand senior team cheered. As such, it should be a great surface for organizers who want to make it a spectacle in every sense of the word.

Stats and trivia

  • Rohit Sharma has been out five times in 13 innings against the left-arm pacer in the powerplay since 2021. It’s all set for another thrilling outing from Rohit against Shaheen Shah Afridi.

  • India’s bowling strike rate of 32.5 in the powerplay is the best among all teams in ODIs since 2022. At this stage, Siraj has taken the most wickets for India (32).
  • Imam-ul-Haq’s innings of 67 to cross the 3,000-run mark in the previous match made him the second fastest behind Hashim Amla to get there in ODIs. But the glaring concern will be his dismissal five times in seven innings this year against short-pitched bowling, including the opener against Holland. This is something India’s pace attack might want to exploit first.
  • Babar Azam has made just 71 runs in five innings since scoring 150* in the Asia Cup opener against Nepal. This is his joint longest streak where he has not scored 30 or more in an ODI innings.
  • quotes

    He added, “I do not focus too much on what happened in the past, but I focus on what will come in the future. These records were created to be broken, and we will try to break them.”
    Babar Azam About Pakistan’s winless run against India in the ODI World Cup

    Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo


    No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *