WC 2023: Pakistan to bat first against India after Babar loses toss

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WC 2023: Pakistan to bat first against India after Babar loses toss

Ahmedabad: India have won the toss and invited Pakistan to bat first in their World Cup 2023 fixture in Ahmedabad, with the first ball scheduled to be bowled at 2:00pm IST.

Pakistan captain says he would have bowled first, had he won the toss, before proceeding to name an unchanged lineup.Two-time champions India have a perfect 7-0 record against Pakistan in the 50-overs World Cup and are also the top-ranked ODI team, who have won both their games in the tournament so far.

But Pakistan also have two wins from two at the World Cup after seeing off the Netherlands and Sri Lanka, and Babar is approaching the tournament’s most-anticipated clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the world’s largest cricket venue, with a complete disregard for the past.

“I don’t think about the past, I’d rather focus on future,” Babar told reporters with a wry smile on his face on Friday. “All records are meant to be broken, and we’ll try to break this record.”

Under Babar, Pakistan broke a Twenty20 World Cup sequence of five defeats (from 2007 to 2016) against India with a 10-wicket rout at Dubai in 2021.

Babar admitted conditions in Ahmedabad are different from those at Hyderabad where Pakistan played two warm-up matches and their first two World Cup games.

“Yes, the conditions here are different,” said Babar, whose team beat the Netherlands by 81 runs and Sri Lanka by six wickets. “You are better off at a venue where you have spent a few days but we will adapt.”

sachin with others
sachin with others

Anushka Sharma, Arijit Singh, Sachin Tendulkar arrive in Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad: Ahead of the most awaited match of the ODI World Cup 2023 between India and Pakistan at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday, actor Anushka Sharma-the wife of Indian cricket star Virat Kohli, singer Arijit Singh, cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Dinesh Karthik arrived in Ahmedabad to cheer India on. Arijit Singh will give a soulful performance for cricket fans prior to the game.

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Former Indian all-rounder Sanjay Bangar said that during the ICC Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan at Ahmedabad, a key battle is going to be between Indian skipper Rohit Sharma and pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who has managed to get the better of the ‘Hitman’ in many recent encounters.

India and Pakistan will lock horns with each other at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. India will be aiming to keep their winning streak alive against Pakistan while the latter will be looking to end their World Cup duck against Men in Blue. India has dominated the head-to-head record in ODI World Cup matches with ‘Men in Blue’ winning all seven games against the arch-rival, boasting a 100 per cent win record till now.

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports show, “Follow the Blues”, Sanjay Bangar shared his views on what would make up the key battles in tomorrow’s match.

He said, “First up, the key battle is going to be between the opening batter and the bowler. So, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Rohit Sharma is going to be a key battle because of the manner in which Rohit Sharma is playing fearless cricket. And especially the last time India played against Pakistan, he had taken the attack to them along with Shubman Gill, and they really charged at all the three pacers, scoring at a fast pace in those first 10 overs.

“So, if India does end up having a wonderful start like that again, then pressure will be on the Pakistan bowlers from the start. Having spoken about the Sharma-Afridi match-up, another key battle is between Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf, because Haris Rauf bowls a very good short ball at a good pace, that battle would also be good to watch. And also when their batters come out to bat, it would be exciting to watch if Kuldeep Yadav is able to take Babar Azam’s wicket,” he added.

In five innings Shaheen-Rohit has faced each other, the ‘Hitman’ has scored 37 runs at an average of 18.50, with four boundaries and two sixes in 48 balls. Rohit has been dismissed by Shaheen twice.

In five innings Virat and Rauf have faced off against each other, Virat has scored 43 runs against the bowler with two fours and three sixes. Rauf has never dismissed Virat. Virat’s two successive sixes against Rauf during a 160-run chase in ICC T20 World Cup 2022 at Melbourne during the 19th over are considered really iconic.

Babar has made 18 runs in three innings against Kuldeep and has been dismissed twice. Kuldeep has never allowed Babar to hit a four and six against him.

This match comes after India’s two matches against the arch-rivals during a winning Asia Cup campaign. One match, held in the group stage was abandoned due to rain while India registered a thumping win in the next clash during the Super Four stage.

India began their World Cup campaign with a victory over Australia, while Pakistan has two victories in two matches to build momentum ahead of the major encounter.


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