Perhaps what makes the rivalry of India and Pakistan this exciting is the similarities that these both countries share yet so much anger and rage between them that they load up their guns and shoot each other. This is not an exaggeration, India and Pakistan went on to war and as usual India won in there too just like they did in football, cricket, hockey and humanity. And, often this rivalry is seen when both these nations meet in a sport competition, the modest and fairest way to decide who is better than the other or sometimes, to remind the Men in Green that the Men in Blue still runs the show.
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However, the bittersweet memories of the last clash between India and Pakistan would always haunt the Indians. The ad campaign ‘mauka mauka’ finally came true for the Pakistanis as they stood atop of India to cling on to their victory in the ICC Champions Trophy, a year back. It was a consolation that was long due for the men in green and even though, they might be a threat to other cricketing nations with both on and off the field (referring to shooting incident on the Sri Lankans player in Pakistan), but against India they have always struggled to found a backbone. For any cricket fanatic in India, the final of the 2007 ICC World T20 was the perfect show of how the Pakistanis bottled up against Indians. Earlier in that tournament both the teams met in the group stage and their efficient strike bowlers and all rounders failed to hit the open stumps, humiliating themselves as they lost to India in the Bowl Out after the game tied to a draw.
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Now, that as they would be facing India in this tournament, it is likely that both the teams would want to field their strongest lineup since this is a battle none of these two countries would want to lose. So here’s a sneak peek into the possible changes in the Indian lineup, Rohit Sharma could make.
- Jasprit Bumrah –
One of India’s silent assassins with the ball, Bumrah, showed that even with scantily built pace if the line and length is flawless, any batsman’s middle stump can be toppled. Perfected himself in bowling of inch-perfect Yorkers under Lasith Malinga’s guidance in his time with Mumbai Indians, Jasprit has turned into an asset for the Indian team. If the score is big enough, he gets the dot balls and if the score is not, he gets the wickets. Given, the caliber of the bowler he is expected to be back in the starting lineup for the Indians in this game. He has only played a few matches against Pakistan so he remains the surprise package for them with the ball and after his impressive haul of 18 wickets in just two test matches has set the platform for the bowler to struck early in the Pakistan batting order.
- Kannanur Lokesh Rahul –
The right handed batsman impressed everyone with his Indian Premier League stint for Kings XI Punjab in this edition and his form took him to England this year where he showed what he could do with his fluid batting technique. In his debut series in Australia back in 2014, he scored his maiden ton at the age of 23 on the pitch of the Sydney Cricket Ground off 262 balls and ever since, he has been believed that his potential could really change the game of cricket for the men in blue. Hoping to live up to that expectations, he will be making his debut against Pakistan in this game and we simply can’t just wait to see him in action.
- Hardik Himanshu Pandya –
The latest addition to the list of the perfect all rounders India ever produced after Kapil Dev and Irfan Pathan, who can roll his arms to kill some overs and can even come up on top of the batting order to guide India home in many occasions. One of his remarkable feats would be his innings in the Indian Premier League 2015, when he simply destroyed the Kolkata Knight Rider bowlers for his Mumbai Indian outfit. He scored a destructive 61 off just 31 balls and that was just the beginning of a promising career. He stunned everyone with the ball in the 2016 World T20 against Bangladesh when he defended two runs off three balls and took India to reach the semis to face the Caribbean storm. Against, arch rivals Pakistan he had a great striking record of hitting the ball hard and frequently maintaining a strike rate of 96.00 in the ODIs. He could prove to be fatal in this game as he also waits for the big platform to perform.