Team India are all set to start their campaign in the T20 World Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan. While the latter nation has made changes into their squad after coming to UAE, India are headed into this tournament with a well-settled side. Having been placed in group B alongside New Zealand and Afghanistan, getting a positive start in the T20 World Cup will be important for both these Asian teams.
India will lock horns against Pakistan on October 24. And with the stakes being as high as the expectation of the supporters of both these nations, marquee players need to step up in order to lead their side. With India still maintaining an unbeaten streak against Pakistan in the World Cup, Virat Kohli led men will be looking to register their first win by conquering the world no.3 side.
Top 5 Players to look in India vs Pakistan Group B Battle
5. Babar Azam
An in-form batsman who has been able to place himself in all the ICC Men’s rankings. Babar Azam leads the way for Pakistan against India, after showcasing both solidity and power-hitting skills at the top, his team will be relying on him to score runs. Being a part of the FAB4 of the current generation, Azam has scored 2202 runs in just 61 matches after making his debut in the format since 2016 at an average of almost 47 runs per innings.
Although Babar Azam is sometimes criticised for making a slow start, yet his presence, in the end, has always helped Pakistan register big totals. Opening the innings for Pakistan, the 27-year-old needs to be India’s pray early on if the premier champions want to establish their authority against this opposition.
4. Mohammad Rizwan
Not many cricketers in the world are able to bounce back in form, like the way Mohammad Rizwan did. Managing to possess an average of 48.4 in T20 International, Rizwan has become the go-to man for his nation during the latter overs. Moreover, he plays at a strike rate close to 130, which helps the other players to be able to build their flow against strong bowling oppositions.
The 29-year-old right-handed batsman has scored 1 century and 8 half-centuries in 32 innings. Not to forget, many Pakistan cricketing fanatics indicate Mohammad Rizwan’s playing style being similar to Adam Gilchrist’s, who surprisingly is his idol as well. Lastly, he has the most T20 International runs (752) in this calendar year.
3. Ravindra Jadeja
This 32-year-old all-rounder is heading into the T20 World Cup after triumphing with CSK in the recently concluded IPL in UAE. For the past couple of ICC editions, Jadeja’s form has been a source of inspiration for Team India. Having to bowl all his quota of 4-overs, Jadeja’s bowling and batting skills are both going to be put on test against a rigid and unpredictable Pakistani line-up. Ravindra Jadeja has been in-form in 2021 and has performed with the bat as well as with the bowl.
2. Rohit Sharma
It will not surprise many that India has always played much more calmly if Rohit Sharma has got off to a good start. The Mumbai Indians captain has not been in his best form in 2021, yet becoming the vice-captain of India in the T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma will need to step up in order to pave the way for India in the latter overs. No matter if the team is batting first or chasing, Sharma’s presence until the end is surely going to calm the nerves of not only the Indian fans but also the younger players around him.
1. Jasprit Bumrah
India’s premium bowler in all formats. Jasprit Bumrah is coming off an impressive IPL edition, having taken plenty of wickets in the gulf, this 27-year-old fast bowler will be India’s trump card against arch-rivals Pakistan in the opening encounter. Not only his over at the death will be important but Bumrah will be expected to dismiss the likes of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan early on.
From the past couple of ICC Men’s T20 edition, India have been able to build pressure on Pakistan since the start, courtesy to their bowling unit. Justifying the same, in the seventh edition of this competition, Jasprit Bumrah’s form will be key not only against Pakistan but for the entire tournament.