Traditional arch rivals - India and Pakistan - take on each other in the 10th game of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Saturday.
India have qualified for the semi-final of the Champions Trophy 2013 while Pakistan have been eliminated after two defeats but the contest on Saturday will be watched keenly by fans from the sub-continent, as match between the arch rivals has always been big and intense. Pakistan have good record against India in ODI but that won't have any bearing this time as the latter look formidable with a bunch of talented young players.
India have turned out to be the favourite to win the trophy after displaying some good cricket this tournament. They come into the contest after beating South Africa by 26 runs and West Indies by eight wickets. They will be keen to win on Saturday not only because the opponents are Pakistan but also to keep the momentum going as they head to the semi-final match next week.
Pakistan are out of the competition after a dismal performance this tournament, conceding a two-wicket defeat to West Indies in the opener and then to South Africa by 67 runs. However, they will come into the contest to save a washout besides the challenge of playing against the arch rivals. A win will be a consolation for the team that has come under severe criticism from home following their poor show in the tournament.
India and Pakistan have met 124 times in the past out of which India won 49, Pakistan 71, and four no-results. India won all four encounters against Pakistan in World Cup matches since 1992, while Pakistan have 2-0 win-loss record against India in Champions Trophy. They share 5-5 record in the last 10 meetings (ODI).
India: Openers - Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma - have given good start in the previous two matches, with the former scoring back-to-back centuries and the latter scoring back-to-back half centuries. They will be expected to give a good start in the upcoming matches too and give room for the middle order to play their natural aggressive shots. With skipper MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja in the batting line-up, they could be intimidating to their opponents.
On the bowling front, Ravindra Jadeja has taken seven wickets and other bowlers like Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma have been impressive. They look rather weak as compared to some other teams but have played reasonably well this tournament.
Pakistan: Opener Nasir Jamshed scored a half century in the opener and then 42 in the second match, while skipper Misbah-ul-Haq scored 96 in the match against West Indies, but the form of other batsmen - Imran Farhat, Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq and Shoaib Malik - is a big worry. They need to put their acts together and put up a big score on the board to counter India's strong batting line-up.
On the bowling front, Mohammad Irfan is the highest wicket taker from the team with four wickets. With Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Irfan in the line-up, they are touted as a strong bowling side but their performance has been not impressive this tournament. They need to restrict the score of the opponents as their batsmen look vulnerable.
Pakistan may have better record against India in the past but Saturday's match is going to be a different one all together. With a bunch of young and talented batsmen in the side, India should beat Pakistan.
Where to Watch Live:
The match will kick off at 03:00 PM IST on Saturday and it will be telecast live on Star Sports and Star Cricket channels in India. It will also be live streamed online on Star Sports official website.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Murali Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra and R Vinay Kumar
Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Abdur Rehman, Asad Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ehsan Adil, Imran Farhat, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shoaib Malik, Umar Amin, Wahab Riaz