India vs Pakistan – the hors d'oeuvres were served in the Asia Cup in Mirpur and after a bit of a delay in deciding the location for the main course, the Eden Gardens was chosen as the venue where these two great rivals will meet in the ICC World T20 2016. India come into this match in desperate need of a win, while Pakistan are happy as can be after smashing Bangladesh in their opening World T20 encounter.
Pakistan have a few things going for them ahead of this WT20 match. They are coming off a fantastic win over Bangladesh, a game where their batsmen came to the party in some style, posting a total of over 200 runs, while this is a venue where the men in green have never lost to the men in blue in limited-overs cricket.
History is history and all that matters is the here and now, but that is a record that Pakistan will look at with pleasure and gain a lot more confidence from.
India, of course, have the mental edge over Pakistan in ICC World tournaments, having never lost to them in either the 50-over World Cup or the World T20. However, the heavy loss to New Zealand on a turning pitch in Nagpur has turned India from heavy favourites to just another big team in the pack, and if India fail to beat Pakistan Saturday, MS Dhoni's men will go from clear favourites to one of the favourites to no-semifinals-so-it-is-bye-bye-birdie.
The heavy loss to New Zealand means India's net run rate is pretty poor, while Pakistan's massive win over Bangladesh has put them top of the points table in Group 2 for now. While a loss will not knock them out of the WT20, India cannot really afford another poor evening in the middle.
The hosts need to find their big-game inspiration, look to their Asia Cup victory over Pakistan, and start showing the world why they were branded as the clear favourites at the start of the tournament.
At the end of the day, T20 is a batsman's game and if the batsmen do not step up, India might as well wave goodbye to their World-T20-at-home title dreams.
The manner in which all of the batsmen threw their wicket away on a turning track was worrying, and while the Eden Gardens wicket in the first two games of the ICC World T20 2016 hasn't produced as much turn, it will, no doubt, be a slow pitch.
India need to cope whatever the conditions, or else their World T20 title dreams could end in a hurry.
India vs Pakistan schedule: Venue: Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Date: Saturday, March 19.
Time: 7.30 p.m. IST (7 p.m. PKT, 2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET).
TV listings: India: Star Sports network, with the matches being broadcast live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 and Star Sports HD1. Pakistan: PTV. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Sports Cricket HD. Rest of Africa: SuperSport. UK and Ireland: Sky Sports 2. USA and Canada: Willow TV. Singapore and Hong Kong: Star Cricket. Malaysia: Astro Sports. Australia: Fox Sports. New Zealand: Sky Sport. Caribbean Islands: ESPN.