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Last Updated : Jun 16, 2019 12:45 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India vs Pakistan, World Cup 2019 preview: Where to watch live, team news, possible XI and betting odds

The escalating cross-border tensions between the two neighbouring nations add to the intrigue of what will be the seventh India vs Pakistan clash at the Cricket World Cup.

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A cricketing rivalry that transcends beyond the realms of 22-yards will be reignited when India and Pakistan square off in a World Cup encounter that could have fascinating sub-plots with Rain Gods threatening an anti-climactic twist on June 16.

The escalating cross-border tensions between the two neighbouring nations add to the intrigue with KL Rahul's technique being tested by Mohammed Amir and Wahab Riaz's skills finding more than a match in a colossus like Virat Kohli.

LISTEN | Iconic moments from India vs Pakistan World Cup encounters

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Even if they feel that it's just another game, perhaps all players in their hearts know that this is a special match even if at times the reason in purely non-cricketing.

No wonder Sachin Tendulkar urges Indian batsmen to be more aggressive against a skillful Amir unlike 2017 Champions Trophy while skipper Kohli speaks about having an "ideal mindset" even if the first-timers may find the "occasion intimidating".

Also Read | 6 wins in 6 clashes, Men in Blue reign supreme over arch-rival

The narrative of Indo-Pak duel is such that irrespective of whether it is a World Cup game or not, it creates heroes or villains for life in the eyes of fans.

Ajay Jadeja's assault of Waqar Younis in the 1996 World Cup quarterfinal or Salim Malik's 72 off 35 balls in a tough run chase that stunned the 90,000 plus at Eden Gardens in 1987 are stuff of legends.

People remember these matches while forgetting that both were proven match fixers, who brought the game into disrepute.

Chetan Sharma, despite a World Cup hat-trick and five-for in a Lord's Test, is remembered for Javed Miandad's last ball six in Sharjah in 1986. He was a far better bowler than that to live with a curse of a full-toss.

Hrishikesh Kanitkar's international career wouldn't possibly deserve a footnote but people still remember him fondly because of his last ball boundary off Saqlain Mushtaq, under fading lights in Dhaka in 1998.

Both defy logic but since when have fans cared about logic.

For them, this is 'The Match' and there's a binary feel to it. Either you win or lose. Everything else is forgotten duly.

Or else it is difficult to justify why fans are ready to buy over-priced tickets being sold on black even after factoring in that weather could possibly ruin things and they might lose out on a lot of money.

The exponential increase of media frenzy always hypes it up at insane level even though all the six World Cup duels that India have won have been pretty one-sided.

The Bengaluru quarter-final in 1996 or Mohali semi-final in 2011 were exciting but it didn't go down to the wire.

But with no bilateral series being played for years now, each match despite being lop-sided has had a certain novelty attached with it.

On the field, Amir's first spell will certainly keep his team interested after a brilliant performance against Australia. Rahul and Rohit, both of whom have minimal footwork in beginning of an innings, will try to be more assertive.

Kohli has always enjoyed a fabulous track record against Pakistan, having scored a hundred in the 2015 game at Adelaide.

A hundred is due and Indian captain's sense of occasion makes him a big contender for a three-figure mark.

It will be a test of temperament for the youngsters like Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi, who have hardly bowled to the world's best batsman.

The Old Trafford looks good for batting even though conditions will aid both seam and swing.

India's middle-order will have a role to play in the game. Dinesh Karthik's experience was supposedly the choice of the team management in the last game but that was factoring in a curtailed game.

In case of a full game, Vijay Shankar could be the No 4 if India wants a few overs of seam-up stuff from him or else stick to Karthik, who has more experience of pressure situations.

The seaming conditions and Pakistan's comfort against spinners might prompt Kohli to drop one among Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and go for Mohammed Shami, who could be devastating in these conditions.

Jasprit Bumrah will have a score to settle against Fakhar Zaman, bowling against whom, the last thing he would want is to overstep.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar would like to bowl that probing off-stump line which can keep opposition best bet Babar Azam at bay.

Mohammed Hafeez's years of experience will be up against Hardik Pandya's panache.

Last but not the least, India's 'Man of all seasons' Mahendra Singh Dhoni will "lead" from the back and that will be the team's trump card.

India and Pakistan World Cup Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohmmed Shami, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja and Shikhar Dhawan.

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (C and WK), Fakhar Zaman, Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Shahdab Khan, Mohammed Hafeez, Mohammed Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammed Aamir, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim and Asif Ali.

Where to watch live: The match starts at 3 pm IST. It will be broadcast live on the StarSports network in India. Online viewers can log in to Hotstar for all the live action.

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Old Trafford, Manchester pitch report and weather conditions: The deck at Old Trafford is ideal for batsmen but it is also known to offer good turn for the spinners. However, the overhead conditions could result in it being a field day for the seamers with the ball swinging around.

The weather forecast doesn't look great for the match

Team News: Shikhar Dhawan is sure to miss out on this fixture which means KL Rahul will open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma. It remains to be seen whether Kohli will opt for the all-round abilities of Vijay Shankar for this fixture or opt for the experienced head of Dinesh Karthik who could also provide a late burst with the bat.

Pakistan will most likely field the same Playing XI which lost the previous game against Australia.

Possible XI:

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C & WK), Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Amir.

Players to watch out for: 

Virat Kohli 

cwc 2019, ind vs aus, kohli fifty

The captain had a quite start to the tournament against South Africa but then roared back against Australia scoring 82 at a strike-rate of 107.33. In the 2015 World Cup Kohli scored 107 against Pakistan in a group encounter and another century is due from the Indian skipper.

Mohammad Amir

cwc 2019, wi vs pak, mohammad amir

When these two sides last met in England it was the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 where Amir dismissed Rohit, Kohli and Dhawan finishing with 3/16 as India were bowled out for just 158. Amir looks back to his destructive best and picked up the first five-wicket haul of his career in the last game against Australia.

Betting Odds (bet365): 

India: 2/5

Pakistan: 2

Other popular bets on the match can be checked on Oddschecker

Prediction: 

India have never lost to Pakistan at the World Cup and enter this match on the back of a 6-0 winning record at the tournament against their old-rivals. The Indian unit looks supremely balanced and should emerge on top in this encounter.

(With Inputs from PTI)

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First Published on Jun 16, 2019 12:15 am
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