Date: October 24, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Lights, Camera, Action! We are set to witness the return of one of the most celebrated cricket rivalries on the big stage as India lock horns with Pakistan in Match 16 of T20 World Cup on Super Sunday. With both sides opening their campaign in UAE, there is so much uncertainty about what to expect. There is always lot at stake when these two sides clash with each other and with two of the most charismatic captains - Virat Kohli and Babar Azam - leading their sides, there are certainly going to be fireworks in Dubai.
The wicket at Dubai is expected to have some assistance for bowlers as was seen in the recently-concluded season of IPL. The batsmen will need to play very smartly and the middle-overs phase could prove to be very crucial and the team that plays spin better might go on to win the match. With dew expected in second half of innings, both captains might prefer chasing in this big game. This is why toss could prove to be quite important on Sunday.
India: Virat Kohli's side made a scary first impression with their dominant display in the two warm-up games against England and Australia respectively. They have all their bases covered which is what makes them favourites to win the World Cup in UAE. With in-form players like KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah in the side, it would be a huge task for Pakistan to stop this Indian side from wreaking havoc in Dubai. Most importantly, all the Indian players are coming on the back of playing lot of cricket in similar conditions in IPL 2021, which hands the advantage in their favour.
Pakistan: Babar Azam's side is undoubtedly full of talent but there are still doubts if they can hold their nerves in pressure situations. While on their day, they have the potential to beat anyone, something which was seen in their first warm-up game when they outplayed the defending champions - West Indies. However, their bowling once again succumbed under pressure when South Africa counter-attacked as the Proteas hunted down a huge 187-run target. While their batters might put runs on board, their bowling could be a big cause of concern for them against an explosive Indian batting unit.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik
Considering the performance of two sides in the warm-up games, India looked the more balanced unit of the two. However, it is the dominant head-to-head record and the presence of match-winners which makes Team India as favourites without any doubt. But one cannot ignore the fact that if someone like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan or Shaheen Afridi has a great outing, any outcome is possible.