The countdown for much-awaited clash between India and Pakistan has begun as both teams are all set to lock horns in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Group B game on Sunday at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The men in blue are all geared up to take on Pakistan in their tournament opener. The anticipation for a high-voltage game has reached its peak as the game is expected to be watched by almost 2 billion people across the world.
India will start favourites in the game as compared to Pakistan’s less experienced side but Virat’s men would not like to take them lightly after seeing their mammoth 342-run chase against Bangladesh in the practice match.
One of the best bowlers of current times, Mohammed Amir will be up against the who’s who of Indian batting - Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane. It will be a battle between India’s potent great order and Pakistan’s potent bowling attack.
However, India’s batting line-up including Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh is capable of destroying any bowling threat but it would be a treat to watch how the Indian batting stalwarts would face quick and aggressive Amir and Wahab Riaz.
“On paper, India looks better, but nowadays time has changed and the team who will perform on the day will win the match,” Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed while addressing a press conference ahead of the marquee clash said.
Sarfraz also said that the pressure would be on India as the Pakistani team is already lagging behind at no. 8 in the rankings and one more defeat will not make much difference for them.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli also claimed to not have any extra pressure and termed the match against Pakistan as just another game.
“I don’t think any other team also puts a price on just one game. We take the same mindset to every game that we play for India, the mindset does not change,” Kohli said during a press conference on Sunday evening.
“You have to handle stuff when you are thinking. When I don’t think, I can carry on with life. I don’t take pressure on me all the time. I never played irresponsibly even when I was not the captain. I don’t feel, I have to do something extra to get something as captain,” the skipper added.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami
Pakistan: Azhar Ali, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Fahim Ashraf, Imad Wasim, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan
Head to Head: In Champions Trophy, Pakistan have a 2-1 head-to-head record against India but currently, Kohli&Company wears a balanced look and seem all bases covered.
Venue&Time: Edgbaston, Birmingham; 3:00 PM (IST)
Weather report: Weather department has predicted that rain may occur in between the India and Pakistan clash. Let's pray the rain God will not play the spoiler.