One of the most anticipated matches in international cricket, arch-enemies India and Pakistan is switched off again after a gap of more than two years. The two South Asian competitors will face off in the opening match of their ICC T20 World Cup for Men 2021 in Dubai on Sunday. Thanks to the recent Premier League (IPL) season, the Indian team members have familiarized themselves with the difficult conditions in the UAE. On the other hand, Pakistan is also familiar with these sites, as they have been using the UAE as their home base for several years.
With both teams having players with enormous T20 experience, we look at their record in T20 matches:
The Indian team is led by the dangerous Virat Kohli, who averages 52.65 in this format. After playing 89 T20Is, Kohli knows exactly when and where to get started and play according to the situation. Apart from Kohli, the presence of KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja offers considerable depth on the side.
In 32 T20Is, Pant has a pass rate of over 123 and it will only get better as wicketkeeper victim India more and more represents in this format. One player that Kohli can keep a close eye on is Ishan Kishan. The 23-year-old performed excellently in the warm-up matches and could be an essential gear as the tournament progresses.
In the bowling division, Jasprit Bumrah leads the pack with 59 wickets in 49 T20Is. In addition to pacers like Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah could cause significant damage to the opposition batting line-up.
Led by the charismatic Babar Azam, Pakistan could defeat the opposition on any given day. In 61 matches, Babar scored 2204 runs in the format at a breathtaking average of 46.89. He also has 20 half centuries and a hundred in this format.
Along with the skipper, the persons like Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez also possess great abilities.
In the bowling division, Shaheen Afridi, the left-arm player, should be the one for whom India would be most wary. In 30 T20Is, Shaheen has 32 wickets, but his biggest threat lies in his wicket ability in the powerplays.
Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali are two other pacers who know the conditions very well and have enough experience to struggle even on dry levels through clever variations.
Imad Wasim gives a good balance on the side by his overall abilities. Imad has a pass rate of more than 145 and has so far conceded 51 wickets in 52 matches for Pakistan.
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