The moment has finally arrived when the two biggest arch-rivals of cricket, India and Pakistan will face each other in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Group B game at Edgbaston on Sunday. Virat Kohli and his team are all geared up to take on Pakistan in their tournament opener.
Pakistan will look to create pressure on India’s batting line-up as their Mohammad Amir will be up against the likes off Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. It will be India’s batting vs Pakistan’s formidable bowling attack, as it has been over the years.
India’s batting line-up including Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh is very capable of destroying any bowling attack. But it will be interesting to see how the Indian batsmen face quick and aggressive Amir and Junaid Khan in tough English conditions.
Pakistan can’t be taken lightly in big tournaments as they are brilliant on their given day and have already produced many surprising results in previous ICC tournaments. This time India have a strong a bowling line-up with in-form pace battery and all-rounders including Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. Both Jadeja and Pandya lend a lot of balance to the XI and are handy with the bat lower down the order.
India’s pace bowling will be a treat to watch with Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being capable of bowling exceptional yorkers and slower ones in death overs. Umesh Yadav has more consistency in his bowling after having a successful Test season and IPL. Mohammed Shami includes variations and skills in his bowling which could trouble the Pakistan top-order.
Pakistan won their warm-up game against Bangladesh after chasing a mammoth total of 342 runs where the experience delivered. Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez played with maturity to see Pakistan through and a blistering knock by youngster Fahim Ashraf (65) gave indications about Pakistan’s depth in batting.
Pakistan’s lack of consistency in the bowling department remains a huge concern. It has been their strength over the years and seamers need to step up for the big game. Junaid Khan, Shadab Khan and Wahab Riaz proved to be ineffective against Bangladesh batsmen in their warm-up game, giving nearly 200 runs in 27 overs.
In Champions Trophy Pakistan have a 2-1 head-to-head record against India but currently, Kohli and Co wear a balanced look and seem all basses covered.