Dubai, October 23: Within the perimeter of being a team sports, cricket has always given space for individual battles. When India take on Pakistan in their Super 12 match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, it offers ground for some potentially brilliant personal duels.
Both the teams have some very good players and as a team too they have enjoyed a good last couple of years.
Then we have that perennial edge around an India vs Pakistan match that adds to the spice.
Then watch out for these key battles that can affect the complexion of the match.
The 21-year-old left-arm exploded on to the scene in 2018 and since then has has taken 32 wickets from 30 T20Is, most of it came upfront too with the new ball. His skills and ability to bowl fast Yorkers will come into play against in-form India openers — Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul. In fact, Rohit is not precisely comfortable against left-arm pacers, and got out to that kind a few times in the past. Pakistan will hope that Afridi can exploit that weak side and prevent an India batting flourish. A good start by Rohit and Rahul will go a long way in giving India an added advantage in the contest.
2. Jasprit Bumrah vs Pakistan batsmen
Bumrah is the second highest wicket-taker in T20Is for India with 59 wickets from 50 matches. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal holds the record with 63 wickets. Bumrah has a good record against Pakistan too, even though he has played just two T20I games against them in 2016.
In those two matches, Bumrah has taken 2 wickets while conceding 5.71 runs across 7 overs. Since then Bumrah has only grown in stature as a bowler across the formats. India would like to see the back of some dangerous Pakistan batsmen like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman. Bumrah could be the go-to man of Virat Kohli, once again!
3. Pakistan spinners vs India middle-order
This could really get intense. Pakistan have some experienced names manning their spin department such as Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and Imad Wasim. On the slower pitches of UAE, these experienced campaigners have the ability to apply break on the opponents. With two left-handers in India middle-order — Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan — this contest could heat up.
4. Dark horses
India: Ishan Kishan: The left-hander has been in good touch after a brief lull in the IPL 2021 for Mumbai Indians. Kishan made a sparkling fifty in the warm-up game against England and he would want to continue in the same vein in the T20 World Cup too. He has a big role to play against Pakistan who has some really experienced bowling line-up, and his ability to score quickly should come handy for India.
Pakistan: Haider Ali: Hailing from Pakistan Punjab, Haider is the new T20 hope of his country. He is known as Pakistan’s Rohit Sharma and had a very good Nation Cup T20 recently. He should be a part of the Pakistan Playing 11, and could carry some x-factor into the match.