‘Cornered’ Pakistan face India in T20 World Cup blockbuster today

Arch-rivals will lock horns at the sell-out 34,000-capacity Nassau County Stadium in New York on Sunday

Hamza Khan June 08, 2024
The match will take place at the newly-built Nassau County Stadium, in front of a sell-out crowd of at least 34,000. PHOTO: FILE


The legendary rivalry between India and Pakistan needs no introduction. On Sunday, for the first time, the two South Asian cricket giants will face off in New York, drawing fans from around the globe to witness this highly-anticipated showdown.

The match will take place at the newly-built Nassau County Stadium, in front of a sell-out crowd of at least 34,000.

India enter the contest on the back of a victory against Ireland in their tournament opener, while Pakistan are reeling from a shocking Super Over loss to the United States on Thursday.

With everything seemingly going India's way, they are expected to have a regular day on the field. They played a warm-up game against Bangladesh at the venue, giving them familiarity with the conditions. Strategic moves like promoting Virat Kohli to open with Rohit Sharma and having Jasprit Bumrah lead the bowling attack show their readiness.

For Pakistan, the situation is bleak. They were demoralised by their defeat to the co-hosts and missed practice due to a match between South Africa and the Netherlands at the venue. Additionally, they are dealing with the fitness issue of all-rounder Imad Wasim, who hasn't recovered from a side strain. Analysts suggest this match is a do-or-die contest for Pakistan.

Also read: WATCH: Shaheen Shah Afridi ‘mobbed' by Indian fans in New York

Changes in Pakistan’s playing XI seem inevitable, with Azam Khan likely to be dropped following back-to-back failures. Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja described the match as a “big incentive for Pakistan,” urging the team to focus on winning despite India's current superiority in batting, bowling, and fielding.

“The conditions in New York are 50-50, which makes this game interesting,” said Raja. “Pakistan should forget about the past and focus on winning the game.”

The cricketing conditions in New York have faced criticism for uneven bounce, challenging batters. However, Pakistan could capitalise on these conditions with their quality bowling attack.

Historically, Pakistan leads India in Test matches (12-9) and one-day internationals (73-56), while India has the upper hand in T20 matches (8-3). However, in World Cup history, India dominates, with Pakistan never beating them in the ICC ODI World Cup and winning only once in seven T20 World Cup encounters. Their last clash, at the Cricket World Cup on October 14, saw India win by seven wickets in Ahmedabad.

According to the International Cricket Council (ICC), standard and premium tickets, ranging from $300 to $400, are sold out. Tickets are still available in Diamond Club, Cabanas, Corner Clubs, and Premium Club Lounge North, with Diamond Club tickets being the most expensive at $10,000. Other stands range from $2,500 to $3,000. Tickets can be purchased on the ICC's official website.


Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Saim Ayub, Mohammad Rizwan, Azam Khan, Shadab Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Siraj. Reserves: Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Khaleel Ahmed, Avesh Khan.


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