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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan, Toss, Playing XIs: Babar Azam invites Virat Kohli to bat in Dubai

Bengaluru, Oct. 24: The wait is over, as the mother of all matches is set to get underway at the Dubai International Stadium with arch-rivals India and Pakistan facing off in their T20 World Cup opener on Sunday.

In the Super 12 clash in Dubai, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bowl first against the Virat Kohli-led Indian side.

The Men in Blue have dominated Pakistan in the World Cups and in T20 World Cups India have won on all five meetings.

After electing to bowl first, Pakistan skipper Azam said that they would look to pocket early wickets to restrict the strong Indian side and furthermore dew is also a key factor.

Meanwhile, after being put into bat first, Indian skipper Kohli said, they would have like to have bowled first as well, but the side was a balanced one and the outcome of the toss won’t hamper them. The four players missing out on India’s opening game include, Rahul Chahar, Ishan Kishan, R Ashwin and Shardul Thakur.

Playing XIs:

India Playing 11: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan Playing 11: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi

Captain’s speak:

Virat Kohli: We are pretty happy with setting the target. We would have bowled first too, but the toss is not in your control. We are pretty balanced with our squad and you need to be prepared for it. We need to stay as professional as possible. We need to stay focussed on the processes. Everyone watches it closely all over the world. We can use that as a motivation, but we need to ensure we don't get too emotional and need to just stay professional. The pitch looks very different. Evenly rolled and there is no grass at all which was the case during the IPL, and I'm sure that was done to hold it together well for the World Cup. We expect the pitch to stay good all through and set a good total.

Babar Azam: We are going to bowl first. We'll look to take early wickets and put pressure. Dew is also a factor. We have had good practice sessions back home also and am confident about our preparations. Pakistan's bowlers are known to trouble other teams but I am confident about our batting too. Haider Ali is left out.

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Story first published: Sunday, October 24, 2021, 19:21 [IST]
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