T20 World Cup: The Big Apple set to experience the mesmerizing Indo-Pak rivalry

 - Sakshi Post

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) Come June 9, 2024, and cricket fans all over the world will have their focus on one thing – the hugely-anticipated Men’s T20 World Cup clash between India and Pakistan at the newly-constructed Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York. Tickets for this match are still up for grabs on the official ticketing website of the tournament.

Ever since the Men’s T20 World Cup came into existence in 2007, the India-Pakistan clash has been the cynosure of all eyes, especially in the absence of bilateral cricket between the two nations since the 2012-13 white-ball series.

The event has undergone significant branding changes since 2007, including some major transformations for the upcoming edition of the tournament, the lure of a clash between the neighbours and arch-rivals has been unmissable among cricket fans.

India and Pakistan have clashed seven times previously in the event, barring the 2009 and 2010 editions of the tournament. The two teams met twice in 2007, including the thrilling final at Johannesburg, which India won by five runs to clinch the title.

Now the stadium in New York, located around 25 miles east of Manhattan, will have its first brush with India-Pakistan cricket rivalry.

India prevailed over Pakistan in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2022 editions of the marquee tournament, with the latter winning by ten wickets in Dubai in 2021 for their lone win over India in World Cups.

Like in every Indo-Pak encounter at World Cups so far, Virat Kohli holds the key for India to do well in the tournament, especially since he topped run-charts in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024.

Kohli played one of the greatest men’s T20I innings in leading India to a heist of a victory against Pakistan at a packed Melbourne Cricket Ground in October 2022. His sensational 82 not out, coming in a thrilling last-ball victory, set the tone for Kohli’s good run in the rest of the tournament, where he scored three more fifties and finished as the highest run-scorer with 296 runs.

The form of Rohit Sharma, captaining India for a second time in the Men’s T20 World Cup, will hold the key for India to get blistering starts in Power-play. The same will be true for Yashasvi Jaiswal, and Suryakumar Yadav. They need to see who between a returning Rishabh Pant and in-form Sanju Samson is their middle-order wicketkeeper-batter option.

India also need the all-round powers of Hardik Pandya, Shivam Dube, and Ravindra Jadeja, along with back-up options in Axar Patel, to get their finishing touches with the bat and scalps with the ball.

In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah (back after missing the 2022 World Cup due to injury), Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal hold the key and finding the best combination on a drop-in New York pitch will be essential for India.

On the other hand, Pakistan have their batting lynchpins in captain Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Saim Ayub, Fakhar Zaman, and Iftikhar Ahmed, with their approach and strike rate a thing to keep an eye on. With Shadab Khan not in great form, the roles of Imad Wasim and Abrar Ahmed become all that important in the spin-bowling department.

Pakistan does have a lot of variety in the fast-bowling department via Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Amir, and Abbas Afridi, but who all get into the playing eleven remains to be seen.

Both India and Pakistan are in the same boat in terms of breaking a long drought of ICC silverware. India's last major trophy was the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, while for Pakistan, it was winning the same tournament in 2017. A win in the high-octane clash for either of them in New York might just be the catalyst for them to go all the way in lifting the trophy at Barbados on June 29.

Disclaimer: This story has not been edited by the Sakshi Post team and is auto-generated from syndicated feed.

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