On Sunday, cricket fans from around the world will be witnessing another much-awaited clash between India and Pakistan on the cricket field as these two cricketing giants will take on each other in the sixteenth game of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Both teams belong to Group 2 of the Super 12 stage.
India is coming off back-to-back T20I series win against Australia and South Africa at home. On the other hand, Pakistan registered a tri-series win in New Zealand involving Bangladesh. Rohit Sharma will be leading the Indian side while Babar Azam will be having the leadership responsibility of the Pakistani side. Both these teams comprise a great bunch of players in this tournament.
The much-awaited marquee clash between India and Pakistan is anticipated to garner a full-house crowd at the MCG. In the last World Cup, Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets. India will be desperate to avenge the previous World Cup defeat here. For cricket fans, a mouth-watering encounter seems to be on the cards.
India doesn’t have any injury concerns, however, Mohammed Shami, the latest entrant to the squad, warmed up with a long bowling stint in the MCG nets a couple of days ahead of the game, simulating both Powerplay and death-overs scenario. Rohit Sharma opined Shami was ‘very much ready’ and could just jump ahead in the bowling queue.
India used the short ball against Babar and most of Pakistan’s line-up during their recent Asia Cup win, a strategy that could be in for an encore at the MCG with its big square boundary. Meanwhile, If India do draft Shami in place of Harshal Patel, they’ll also have to compensate for Harshal’s batting prowess in the lower order which could see R. Ashwin come in, in place of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin/Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel/Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Shan Masood suffered a blow to the side of his head at the nets session on Friday and had to be rushed to the hospital for scans. He had no symptomatic concerns and Babar Azam confirmed that Masood was ready for the game. Fakhar Zaman, however, hasn’t recovered completely from his knee injury and is likely to miss at least the first two games. Outside of Shaheen Afridi’s opening burst, Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz will be central to Pakistan’s match-up play in the contest for more than one reason.
Probable XI: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shan Masood, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi
Fantasy XI Prediction 1:
Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav (c), Babar Azam, Haider Ali, KL Rahul, Axar Patel, Shadab Khan (vc), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Fantasy XI Prediction 2:
Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Babar Azam (c), Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hardik Pandya (vc), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Arshdeep Singh