India vs Pakistan.
Once this was not only the biggest match of the subcontinent, but also the whole world. But with time India has strengthened their place on top as Pakistan has fallen from grace since their Champions Trophy 2017 triumph. The match still remains the most viewed one, but the appeal it once had, is no longer there. But still, this match had a record 400,000 applications for tickets, ICC revealed.
India will look to continue on their merry way. Their recent match against New Zealand was a washout, but they had won all of the earlier three matches. All their departments look in fine touch, albeit Shikhar Dhawan is out of this match with a thumb injury, their batting order looks strong. KL Rahul will likely be promoted to opening, whereas Vijay Shankar should take his place at No.4, with Dinesh Karthik also being an option.
Pakistan have managed to beat hot favorites England, but without that, they have been defeated fairly comfortably. And the one match they might have won against Sri Lanka, was abandoned due to rain. Their top order is a concern as Fakhar Zaman looks poor with the bat, and middle order’s collapse against Australia should be a concern too.
One interesting fact is that India has lost only once in any ICC event match against Pakistan. That defeat came in the final of the last Champions Trophy final in 2017, that too in England.
India are unlikely to bring any changes to their bowling lineup, but their batting order is surely to change with Dhawan out. KL Rahul will be promoted to the opening slot, as either of Vijay Shankar or Dinesh Karthik likely to come in. Vijay Shankar might be a little ahead in the race with his additional bowling skills.
Probable Lineup - 1. Rohit Sharma, 2. KL Rahul, 3. Virat Kohli ©, 4. Vijay Shankar/Dinesh Karthik, 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan might bring in Haris Sohail to bring stability to their shaky middle order, and might opt to drop either of Shoaib Malik or Asif Ali in the process. Bowling lineup is unlikely to be shuffled, as they showed success against Australia.
Probable Lineup - 1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 6 Haris Sohail, 7 Shoaib Malik/Asif Ali/Imad Wasim, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Hasan Ali 11 Mohammad Amir
Pitch and Weather
The pitch is likely to be flat, with almost no signs of grass, which indicates a high scoring affair. The weather forecast predicts rain at the later part of the day, which means teams will look to bowl first.