India will play Pakistan in their 2021 World T20 opening match on Sunday. India will look to extend their winning streak against Pakistan in World T20 to 6 games, while Pakistan will look to finally end their World Cup jinx against the Men in Blue. Ahead of the clash, there are some battles to watch out for between the players of the team teams.
Cricwizz takes a look.
Fakhar Zaman vs Jasprit Bumrah
Zaman and Bumrah open the batting and bowling for their sides respectively. And the two have come together against each other only twice so far in ICC tournaments. Bumrah could have had the better of Zaman in the 2017 Champions Trophy final only if he had not overstepped on the delivery Zaman nicked it behind. Zaman went on to score a title-winning 114. Zaman then scored 62 in the 2019 World Cup match against India. And Bumrah could not dismiss him on both occasions. Now, Bumrah would be seeking to overturn this record and set it straight in the 2012 World T20 clash.
Shoaib Malik vs Varun Chakravarthy
Malik is the most experienced player in the Pakistan squad, and he would be asked to negate the threat of mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy. Malik, who would bat in the middle-order, will most likely face the Indian spinners, and his performance will be crucial to Pakistan’s chances in the match. But Varun would have a few tricks up his sleeve and would love to dismiss Pakistan’s most experienced player to break the backbone of their batting.
Rohit Sharma vs Hasan Ali
Rohit would once again be the key to India’s show in the 2021 World T20. And Rohit always reserves his best for high-voltage clashes like India vs Pakistan. He scored a ton in the 2019 World Cup match and would look to do an encore. Pakistan would deploy Hasan Ali to stop Rohit from running away with the game. In the 2019 World Cup league match, Rohit slammed 140, but not before scooping a catch to the short fine leg of the bowling of Hasan. So, it would be interesting to see who wins the battle between Rohit and Hasan this time around in World T20.
Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Hafeez
Kohli is susceptible to off-spin bowling early in his innings. He is not in full control when playing the drive to off-breaks. Hafeez, who is a decent off-break bowler, would be raring to have a go at Kohli and dismiss him early and dent India’s chances. But at the biggest stage like India vs Pakistan in World T20, Kohli raises his game a few notches and would be up for a contest with Hafeez. It will be interesting to see whether Kohli would blast Hafeez out of the attack or play out the Pakistan spinner’s over.
Cover image: Crickettimes