- The year was 1947. India was divided into two nations, India and Pakistan. Since that date, there has hardly been any peace between the two nations, not even in sport, not even in Cricket. An India-Pakistan cricket match is not a match. Even the word contest would feel belittled. It’s a war. Having said this, the upcoming war takes place on the 4th of June at Edgbaston, Birmingham in England.
Although the intensity of the match is not the same as it used to be in the days of Javed Miandad, or even Sourav Ganguly; yet it is still one of the biggest encounters in World Cricket. We all know that Pakistan has never defeated India in an ICC World Cup, but ICC Champions Trophy is the only ICC tournament in which Pakistan have triumphed over India. But again, that was in 2004, which is 13 years back. The current form and ODI rankings of both the teams suggest that the Indians do have an upper edge in this encounter.
If we look closely at each teams, one would argue that Pakistan don’t have even a 1% chance of winning. Clearly, India are the favourites in this match, but Oh! There have been times when even the favourites have been toppled out of tournaments. Also, I would say that Pakistan have more than 30% chance of winning. The main reason behind this is, no doubt, their immensely talented pace and swing bowling which includes the likes of Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz. We can’t ignore their batting which has experience as well as talent, for example Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed and upcoming Haris Sohail. Although India has players who are more than capable to tackle these conditions and bowlers, still it won’t be that much of a cakewalk.
Let’s hope for a thrilling encounter. My heart and mind both say this is India’s match, but then there’s always that pinch of fear which says ‘maybe not this time’.
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