Head to Head
They played eight matches against each other, with India winning six, and Pakistan 1, and one was tied (won by India)
- It was March 2016 in Kolkata these two teams met last. India won that match by 6 wkts chasing meagre target of 119. Interestingly from that side India have 6 players in this current WC squad plus MS Dhoni as their mentor. For Pakistan only 3 are still playing in this current WC squad.
Since Jan 2019 India have won 57.14 % of their 35 matches. Pakistan on the other hand have won only 44.73% of their 38 matches played since Jan 2019.
In this period India were represented by 40 cricketers, 14 making their T20I debut. For Pakistan 38 players represented them, with 12 making their T20I debut
The above stats suggests in last 2-years both teams played equal(almost) amount of matches with equal amount of players and debutants.
Nevertheless India have far superior record winning against better and tougher opponents.
Here is series-wise list of both teams since Jan 2019.
Surprised to see Shikhar Dhawan not included in the squad. I suppose it wont have any effect because they few batsmen who have opened for India in past with some degree of success. For India’s sake one only hopes Dhawan’s absence is not felt!. However far more surprising was the omission of Yuzendra Chahal, who happens to be the highest wicket-taker for India in this format. He has picked 63 wickets in 49 matches. He also performed very well in IPL for RCB. It would be interesting to see who will lead the spin attack for India. They have Ravi Ashwin back in the squad. Although he has been in great nick in IPL but has not played any limited overs cricket for India since 2017. Ravi Jadeja is another spinner and he perhaps can be leader of the pack, as he tends to bowl in power play. Then there is Varun Chakravurthy who is quietly doing very well in all situation at all level!.
Strong Batting line-up
India has one of the strong batting line-up in the tournament, and only team to be in great batting form at all level. Their players have played through out the year all format and all level. From Test cricket, to ODIs, T20I and IPL, most of the players in their squad are in form of their life!.
Virat Kohli probably leading India for last time in this format has been in amazing form in last 2 years. He has notched up 992 runs in 25 matches @ 62 with St.Rate of 145.88. the most by an Indian
He is followed by K Rahul who has re-established himself as T20 opener and probably replacing S Dhawan partnering Rohit Sharma.
Rohit is the third highest run-getter for India since Jan 2019. They all are in great nick with the bat.
The only weakness for India’s batting is in the middle-order, with likes of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya filling the spot. They both have done well in recent times, but they lack in experience to build an innings. India have included Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in their squad. One feels one of them might play against Pakistan to bolster their batting line-up.
Steady Bowling line-up
India’s bowling line up is well oiled. Although their bowlers were having niggles due to non-stop matches played. They have great experience under all condition. Although there seems to be a concern with Hardik’s fitness as a bowler, but if their playing XI has all the field filled then they don’t require an all-rounder or sixth bowler!.
Interesting to see if Ashwin gets selected. If they select him then when do they use him?. How much confidence he will show after being left out of Test series in England earlier this year. He has been regular member of Delhi Capitals in IPL, but not played for India in T20I since July 2017. If he is not a regular member of playing XI, then onus will be on Jadeja. He will be well supported by Varun, who can be their X factor.
One saw Virat bowling in warm-up match against England, suggesting they might use for an over or so.
The playing XI against Pakistan
In last two years there has been lot of activities and changes in Pakistani cricket, and they were mostly at admin level. They have selected Ramiz Raja as their chairman of cricket, whose seems to be knowing what he is going to do with their cricket.
They have picked up a balanced squad for World Cup featuring only few fast bowlers. It gives an indication what they expect from pitches in UAE during this time of year. However it is how they execute is the major concern for them.
Their recent record in this format has been not very good. This compare to what they were few years ago. They have won against weaker teams in recent times. Its their bowling that is much weaker this time around. There are many variety type of bowlers in their squad, and most of them are strike bowlers.
BATTING – since Babar Azam started to open the batting for Pakistan they have been doing very well. He along with Mohd Rizwan have given Pakistan solid start in recent times. In last 2 years they opened in 10 matches and put on 521 runs @521.10 with 9.10 RPO!!.
They are followed by an exiting batsman Haider Ali, who one feels can be their X-FACTOR in middle order. These batsmen are well supported two veteran Shoaib Malik and Mohd Hafeez, who are still put on great performance with the bat. Both have strike rate of above 135.
Hafeez scored 521 runs in 19 inns with St.Rate 142.73
Shoaib scored 145 in 5 inns with st.rate of 135.51
Shaheen Afridi will be leading their attack and has been very consistent for them in last few years. One assumes he will be backed by Hasan Ali who has been excellent in death overs. They also have Haris Rauf whose pace is frightening but not very economical. The spin pack is led by experienced Imad Wasim who is very effective in power play. He will be assisted by Shadab Khan, only leg-spinner to be picked for this WC.
My playing XI against India