India vs Pakistan Match Preview: ICC Champions Trophy 2017

Published 06/04/2017, 1:49 AM EDT


The biggest rivalry in the game of Cricket is surely between India and Pakistan. The whole world is waiting to see these two teams getting head to head to start their Champions Trophy Campaign. No excitement can match up to the feeling of watching an India vs Pakistan match. Defending champions India will be aiming to start their campaign with a victory while Pakistan will try it’s best to win the match against their bitter rivals.

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Watch: Fan made tribute to the India Pakistan rivalry

India

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India has played most of their games at home this season, only visiting Zimbabwe. India hasn’t played much of overseas cricket and that could work in Pakistan’s favor but the story in warm-up matches was different. India showed their fans that they are not lagging behind in either batting or bowling. India won both warm-up matches and would have boosted their morale. The most surprising aspect of the Indian team is how good the bowling has been throughout the season.

In the first warm-up match India stopped New Zealand below 200 runs and in the second warm-up match, India stopped Bangladesh below 100. These two matches clearly indicate that Indian bowlers are in the good form and will perform with every ounce they have. Indian batsman managed to score 324 runs against Bangladesh that too without Kohli and Dhoni. Pandya and Dinesh Karthik performed very well and that shows that almost every batsman is in the form. The only problem for India is the opening pair. Dhawan is in good form but both Rohit and Rahane are struggling so it will be a tough task for the captain to select the partner for Dhawan.

Pakistan

When Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali described the huge clash with India as “just another game” – that certainly was an overconfident statement. They last clashed during the 2016 World T20 tournament in India – in which the hosts triumphed comfortably. Pakistan has a habit to lose against India in the ICC tournaments but in Champions Trophy they lead head to head clash with 2-1. This is certainly a plus point for Pakistan.

Known for their brilliant bowling attack, Pakistan was thrashed for 341 runs by Bangladesh and that certainly is a plus point for India considering they have one of the best batting line-ups. Pakistan’s batting looks weak and with no hard-hitters in the team, they will have to rely totally on Mohammad Amir to do the damage with the ball in what could be a high-scoring game.

 

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Weather Predictions

Just like in the New Zealand & Australia contest, the weather forecast doesn’t look good and there are 70% chances of rain.

Prediction

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It’s a very tight one to call. While India has an 11-0 win record against Pakistan in the 50-over and T20 World Cup, the latter have a slightly better record in the Champions Trophy tournament with two wins and one defeat. When these two teams met in the 2013 edition, it was India who came out on top and registered a comfortable eight-wicket victory. India is also favorites to win the Champions Trophy and with their warm-up performance, India has a better chance to win this game.

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Ajay Pilaniya

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