The Biggest Clash of the Year | IND vs PAK | Match Preview

It is that time of the year again. A time where everyone will be glued to their seats and won’t move an inch to watch every ball delivered. One side will be confident due to their history, the other will wait for the history to be changed. Yes, it is India and Pakistan once again taking on each other. Take a look at the team’s first meeting in T20I in five years. Here’s a big match preview of IND vs PAK. 

Let’s get to a straight point. India 12-0 in World Cup tournaments against Pakistan. 7-0 in a 50-over tournament, 5-0 in a T20 tournament. There were matches where Pakistan could have beaten their arch-rivals, but they couldn’t. These two sides have played only one bilateral T20I series, where Pakistan registered their only victory against India in the series draw.

Why it is so difficult for Pakistan to defeat India in the format they have done well since its inception? Maybe the lack of bilateral series between the two sides? But whatever it is, India doesn’t seem to be distracted by it and played their best against their arch-rivals. Even so, the pressure is always different in an ICC event as the whole nation is on your shoulders. 

So what are we expecting this time? The same old story? Or for once, a history to change? 

IND vs PAK: What are we expecting?

IND v PAK the contest

For once, it’s India’s bowling against Pakistan’s batting. Yes, you read that right. Since their last meeting in the T20 World Cup, Pakistan found some fine batsmen who established themselves best. India, meanwhile, found bowlers who made history on away shores and have been their best.

In Pakistan’s view, they can tackle India with their batting. It’s always been the batting issue whenever Pakistan meets India. Pakistan has never had such a strong top-order before in T20Is with Babar, Rizwan, and threatening Fakhar Zaman, as stated by former head coach Misbah ul-Haq. Fakhar was even Pakistan’s best batter across both warm-up games, especially against South Africa where Pakistan lost. 

For India, their batting has been outstanding. But their bowlers have been very impressive. It was a surprise when they left out leg-spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal and called back experience Ravichandran Ashwin for the big tournament. Furthermore, the Men in Blue has recently played IPL just a couple of weeks ago. 

It is a game that not only gives an early start but also builds early momentum in the tournament.

You can also read: Mega Sunday Awaits Pakistan vs India

IND vs PAK: Match Details

  • Date: Oct 24, 2021
  • Timing: 7:00 PM PKT
  • Venue: Dubai
  • Weather: It’s going to be hot and dry with no chance of interruption.

Conditions / Pitch Report: 

We have seen two-paced wickets of Abu Dhabi. We have seen the slowness of Sharjah. But the wickets of Dubai will be in between. And let’s not forget about the toss. It’s going to play a big part, especially at night where teams lately are preferring to chase due to the dew factor.

Head to Head:

Matches: 8 | Pakistan: 01 | India: 06 | Tied: 01 | No-Result: 00

Form Guide:

Pakistan: W L L W W  (Completed matches, most recent first)

India: L L W W W

IND vs PAK: Team News 

1. Pakistan

Pakistan on October 23 announced a 12-men squad against India. Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, and Sarfaraz Ahmed are excluded, meaning Haider Ali will have to battle with one of the spots. It could be between him and Asif Ali, but it’s likely that Haider will get a game against India.

Pakistan’s Probable XI:

1. Babar Azam, 2. Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3. Fakhar Zaman, 4. Mohammad Hafeez,  5. Shoaib Malik, 6. Asif Ali, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Imad Wasim, 9. Hassan Ali, 10. Haris Rauf, 11. Shaheen Afridi

2. India

There has been a discussion of balancing the side in the Indian camp. Especially in the bowling department. They have a fine batting order but can pick only one between Suryakumar Yadav or Ishan Kishan. And in bowling, they could either go for a balanced attack or a Pace-heavy attack. 

India’s Probable XI:

1. Rohit Sharma, 2. KL Rahul, 3. Virat Kohli (C), 4. Suryakumar Yadav/ Ishan Kishan, 5. Rishabh Pant (wk), 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin, 9. Rahul Chahar, 10. Bhuvneshawar Kumar/ Mohammad Shami, 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Gul vs Yuvraj
Pakistan’s only win against India in T20Is came in the 2012-’13 series

IND vs PAK: Players to watch

1. Babar Azam, Batter (Pakistan)

One of the stars of modern cricket who has made his name among the bests. Babar Azam will be leading Pakistan in an ICC event for the very first time. And that too against India. Fans are expecting him to once again be at his best, especially against their arch-rivals knowing the history. 

2. Virat Kohli, Batter (India)  

Despite his recent form across international cricket, Virat Kohli is still the biggest wicket Pakistan will target. In six T20Is he played against the Men in Green, Virat has scored 254 runs and averages 78. In T20 World Cups? 169 runs in three innings, yet to be dismissed. So one can see how big a Pakistan match, especially in an ICC event means to him. And given his form, he may look to get back at his best against his favorite opponents. 

3. Imad Wasim, All Rounder (Pakistan)

If we talk about spin dominating from Pakistan, you’d be expecting Shadab to be in this case. But if look deeper, Imad Wasim will play a big role. He has one of the best T20 economy rates and in UAE, his economy is just five and a half. Imad has had more success in UAE. And given India’s top-six likely to be right-handers, Imad’s gritty arm-balls may prove to be lethal. 

4. Jasprit Bumrah, Bowler (India)

Jasprit Bumrah has emerged as one of the world’s best in this modern day of cricket, with his unorthodox and anomalous action. In T20Is, he has an economy of just 6.66. Up against Pakistan, he has played only two games. On the wickets of UAE, he can be threatening with the style he bowls and Pakistan better is wary of him. 

Stats and Trivia:

  • Pakistan is yet to beat India in an ICC World Cup event
  • Virat Kohli is yet to be dismissed against Pakistan in T20 World Cup
  • This will be the first time where Pakistan and India will play in Dubai in T20Is


“We’ve been playing cricket in UAE for the past 3-4 years and we know the conditions really well. We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustments batters will have to make. On the day who plays the better cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we will win.”

Babar Azam, Pakistan captain

“I can tell you from a personal experience that I have always approached this game as just another game of cricket. I know there is a lot of hype created around this game.”

Virat Kohli, Indian captain

Also read: 

Anticipated Role of UAE Pitches in Pakistan’s T20 WC 2021 Campaign

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