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T20 World Cup: Will India Be Able To Avenge Previous Defeat From Pakistan?

Today the eyes of the whole country are fixed on today’s match. Where India will take revenge for its previous defeat, on the other hand, Pakistan would like to carry forward its winning streak. India and Pakistan begin their 2022 T20 World Cup campaign at the MCG, Australia today 23 Oct (1:30 PM IST).  Last year India lost to its arch-rival by 10 wickets.

India hasn’t won a T20 World Cup since 2007. India though has been quite formidable when it comes to clashes with Pakistan at the T20 World Cups. The two arch-rivals have faced each other on six occasions at the stage with India winning five matches to Pakistan’s one.

Almost a year ago, it did not feel as good for Indian fans, a lot has changed since then. India has a new skipper at the helm, and the MCG is vastly dissimilar to the Dubai International Stadium. If that directly translates to a change in fortunes is an entirely different question altogether.

Post their elimination at last year’s T20 World Cup, they have adopted a more cavalier batting approach, with Rohit Sharma at the forefront of that change in tack. Suryakumar Yadav has also cast himself as arguably the most destructive batter on the planet. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, meanwhile, have also bought into this philosophy.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has perhaps become more conservative than they were a year ago, possibly because of its floundering middle order. That said, the runs have continued to flow from Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan’s bat something they would hope continues against India, especially after what the pair accomplished last year.

Bowling-wise, Pakistan seems to hold all the aces. Shaheen Shah Afridi looks close to his best having returned from injury. Naseem Shah can make the new ball talk, and in Haris Rauf, they have one of the deadliest white-ball bowlers on the planet. Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan, too, can do a job.

India doesn’t have that luxury at this T20 World Cup. In Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, their resources have been stretched thin. Harshal Patel’s tendency to leak runs is another issue. Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami can offset that to an extent, although it remains to be seen if India is brave enough to unleash them in tandem. Their spinners might not get a lot of purchases on these shores but have the quality to hold their own.

Thus, this game could actually come down to the small margins – margins such as how a team fares in what is usually a less favourable situation for them. Last time out, Shaheen rocked India’s boat and the Men In Blue could not prevent their ship from sinking. For much of 2022, they have preached an approach that is pretty different. But if they are pressed into a similar situation, that too in a high-pressure T20 World Cup, it remains to be seen how they cope.

Similarly, India would want to get rid of Babar and Rizwan early, almost forcing their middle order to make the play. So far this year, dismissing the pair has had a detrimental effect on Pakistan’s fortunes. So, if they want to show they are a much better side than 2021, the middle order standing up, that too against India, could be a good start.

So, there are plenty of narratives to keep an eye on. Can Suryakumar continue his stellar recent form? Can Shaheen reprise the impact he had in the UAE? Will Shami enjoy a redemption arc, having been criticised for his displays at last year’s T20 World Cup, and can Haris Rauf cast himself as the best white-ball pacer in the world?

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD OVERALL:

Matches: 11

India wins: 8

Pakistan wins: 3

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD T20 WORLD CUP:

Matches: 6

India wins: 5

Pakistan wins: 1

LAST 5 MEETINGS:

Afridi’s memorable opening spell had guided Pakistan to its first-ever win over India in a World Cup match. Though Pakistan had hammered India by 10 wickets in its last World Cup outing against the Men In Blue, Rohit and Co. have an edge over the Green Army thanks to their impressive head-to-head record.

2022 Asia Cup , Super Four, Match 2: Pakistan (182/5) beat India (181/7) by 5 wickets

2022 Asia Cup, 2nd Match, Group A: India (148/5) beat Pakistan (147) by 5 wickets

2021 T20 World Cup, Super 12, Group 2: Pakistan (152/0) beat India (151/7) by 10 wickets

2016 T20 World Cup, Super 10: India (119/4) beat Pakistan (118/5) by 6 wickets

2016 Asia Cup: India (85/5) beat Pakistan (83/10) by 5 wickets

Venue: MCG, Melbourne

Date: 23 Oct

Time 1:30 PM IST

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