13 Oct World Cup: Stage set for electrifying face-off as Pakistan eye breaking India jinx in Ahmedabad colosseum
Cricket fever has gripped Ahmedabad as Pakistan and India are set to go toe-to-toe in a much-awaited World Cup competition at the cricket biggest stadium in the world on Saturday (today), with the Green Shirts eyeing to break the India jinx.
The contest will mark the first instance of Pakistan and India playing a one-day international (ODI) against each other on Indian soil after 10 years. Their last bilateral meeting resulted in Pakistan defeating the hosts 2-1.
Billions of cricket fans from around the world will tune in to watch great rivals, Pakistan and India, play at the the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Both sides enter this contest after wins in their opening matches.
India beat Australia in Chennai and Afghanistan in Delhi and Pakistan signed off their memorable trip to Hyderabad by recording the highest-ever chase in the history of the World Cup, thanks to gutsy centuries from Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan, on Tuesday.
Babar Azam’s side kicked off their World Cup campaign with a comfortable 81-run win over the Netherlands.
The western Indian city of Ahmedabad is in firm grip of a cricket fever and more than 100,000 fans, including celebrities, are expected to turn up for the game’s fiercest rivalry.
The Green Shirts have not won a single match against India during their World Cup encounters, but the Pakistani skipper is confident that his side will turn the tides this time around.
“I don’t focus on the past. Let’s focus on the thing to come as we know records are meant to be broken,” the skipper said during a press conference about India’s 7-0 streak against Pakistan.
The skipper also noted that his team would not be pressurised due to the massive crowd that is expected at the huge stadium.
“It’s not pressure. We have played at big stadiums like at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). But, yes, all the support in Ahmedabad will be for India. It would have been better had Pakistan fans been allowed.”
Rohit Sharma, India’s skipper, also played down the hysteria around the contest, saying his players would not be swayed by it.
“We’d treat this match just like we treated the previous two matches and how we’d treat our remaining matches. No more, no less.”
Expected playing XIs
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan/Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.