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T20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan: Legends pick their X-factors for India ahead of mother of all battles

New Delhi, October 22: Dubai International Stadium will on Sunday (October 24) house one of the most historic and mouth-watering clashes in cricketing history when India will take on Pakistan in their ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 opening game.

The arch-rivals take on each other on day two of the Super 12 stage in the showpiece event after almost a two-year hiatus. The last time these two teams faced each other was during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England which the Men In Blue won.

T20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan: Six most memorable matches between arch-rivalsT20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan: Six most memorable matches between arch-rivals

Virat Kohli and Co. face-off against Babar Azam-led Pakistan in this highly anticipated encounter which will also be the Indian skipper's swansong with the captaincy tag. Pakistan is yet to get a one-up over their rivals in World Cups as the head-to-head has been heavily dominated by the Men in Blue.

However, both teams have entered the tournament with a fresh perspective, filled to the brim with enormous young talent and the hunger and eagerness to prove themselves on the biggest stage of them all.

T20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan Super 12 match: Live Telecast, Live Streaming, IST Time detailsT20 World Cup 2021: India vs Pakistan Super 12 match: Live Telecast, Live Streaming, IST Time details

Virat will be eyeing a huge victory over their rivals to establish their foothold, which will also set the precedent and momentum in the marquee tournament. The mentorship of MS Dhoni will help in resonating a positive mindset and confidence amongst the Indian team.

Exceptional performances topped by victories in the two warm-up games against England and Australia have been massive boosts for young talents like Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Rahul Chahar, who have showcased their talent and skill ahead of the opener.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq tips India to win the ICC T20 World CupFormer Pakistan captain Inzamam ul Haq tips India to win the ICC T20 World Cup

The opening pair of KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have shown their prowess and never cease to impress. Jasprit Bumrah's magic with the white ball will be looking to shut down the dangerous early efforts of Babar Azam with the bat.

The India-Pakistan fixture is not just a game of cricket, it's more than that. The stakes are at an all-time high with Kohli and Co. looking to continue their dominance against Pakistan. Both sides have a strong lineup and on the day of the major clash, time will tell which side will come out victorious.

T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan Predicted Playing 11 Against India on October 24T20 World Cup 2021: Pakistan Predicted Playing 11 Against India on October 24

Here's what the members of India's 2007 T20 World Cup-winning side had to say on Star Sports show 'Class of 2007', about the upcoming India-Pakistan clash:

Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan

Former Team India all-rounder Irfan Pathan spoke about Virat Kohli & Co. in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.

Pathan said, "I think nobody expected anything from the 2007 team, but there are a lot of expectations from the current World Cup squad. The new team has expectations and experience. When we entered the 2007 T20 World Cup, we hardly had the experience of playing in T20 format. But now, things are different, people play IPL, they play a lot of T20 games and there are a lot of conversations around T20 format. In 2007, there was no social media, but now there is social media, so there are lot of conversations around performances and memes. I think the boys know that there are lot of expectations from them and they know how to handle it."

Class of 2007 on X-Factor for India

Class of 2007 on X-Factor for India

Heroes from the 2007 T20 World Cup-winning Indian squad Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Dinesh Karthik, RP Singh, Ajit Agarkar and Irfan Pathan also shared their thoughts on who will be Team India's 'X-Factor' in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.

Gautam Gambhir: "Jasprit Bumrah!"

Harbhajan Singh: "I think if I have to choose one, I will Rohit Sharma. I think he's going to be the key!"

Dinesh Karthik: "I will put my money on Hardik Pandya and Varun Chakravarthy. I think these two can make the difference in T20 World Cup."

Ajit Agarkar: "Rohit Sharma & Jasprit Bumrah. I think Rohit could be the key, opening the innings and Bumrah with what he does."

RP Singh: "Jasprit Bumrah!"

Irfan Pathan: "I think Jasprit Bumrah and his opposite end. I think the two bowlers who will bowl in the last overs are crucial."

Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik

Speaking about the Indian squad for the mega event, senior India wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik said, "I completely agree with what Irfan said. It's completely different in terms of handling pressure, but one thing that is very different today to what it was in 2007 is the fact that they have plenty of IPL experience and they have played in high-pressure games and they have played in matches which are - when it comes to pressure, it's second to none."

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Story first published: Friday, October 22, 2021, 16:56 [IST]
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