The wait is finally over – the miss-it-and-you-will-be-deemed-crazy match is finally upon as. India vs Pakistan in front of a capacity crowd at the Adelaide Oval with a billion and more watching from their TV sets worldwide – it really does not get any bigger than this. The marquee game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is finally upon us.
India, of course, go into this mega clash with a terrific World Cup record against Pakistan , having beaten them on five occasions in the past with the latest one coming in the semifinals of the 2011 World Cup.
Pressure to maintain that unbeaten streak will well and truly be there for India, not that it concerns captain MS Dhoni one bit.
"We have to try our best, and that's what it's all about," said Dhoni when asked if there is extra pressure to make it 6-0 against Pakistan in World Cup matches. "It's not really about stats.
"As far as the preparation in the dressing room is concerned, it looks just fantastic. When we play Pakistan, there's definitely more intensity on the field, and with a lot of fans being around, I think it will be a perfect scenario for everyone to raise their level of performance
"I think what's important is to know our position well. What will be important for us will be to execute our plans as normally against every side.
"Whatever plans you have, if you can execute them, definitely you will create problems for the opposition. Irrespective of where the stats lie, what's most important for us will be execution part because we have got quite a few plans."
Playing Pakistan might work for or against India, considering the result at the end of the match – the same goes for Pakistan too – but Dhoni was of the opinion that taking on their biggest rivals first up in this World Cup is a good thing.
"I think it's not a bad one, the reason being we have played tri-series and the warm-up games, and starting with Pakistan," he added. "It will be a high voltage game. With so many fans coming from India, it will be a houseful.
"It's definitely something -- it's one of those occasions where the spectators really love it. It's one of the most prized games when it comes to the ODI format."
There have been so many memorable CWC games between the two teams, but India have ended up on the winning side on all of those occasions. Misbah-ul-Haq and his side will be thinking it is about time the pendulum turned in their favour.
While form definitely goes out of the window in derby matches, gauging the form of both the teams is difficult. India have not been at their best in ODIs in Australia, while Pakistan still look like a team feeling their way to their best XI; hardly surprising considering the players they have lost recently.
At the end of the day, though, it will be down to which team plays better – clichéd yes, but nonetheless true, and the final result could just be decided by an innings of absolute brilliance or a an astounding spell.
Where to Watch Live
Get the Five Talking Points from the Game HERE
Get the Live Blog of the India vs Pakistan Match HERE
The big, big ICC World Cup game is set to begin at 2 pm local time (9 am IST, 3.30 am GMT, 10.30 pm ET) with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports HD3 and DD National. Viewers in India can also catch the India vs Pakistan match via free live streaming online on Starsports.com or by the oaid option on Starsports Live Pro option.
Watch Pakistan take on India in their World Cup opening game live in Australia on Channel 9 and Fox Sports, while the option to live stream the game is on Cricket Australia Live or the Cricket Australia Live App or Foxtel. Viewers in the UK can watch the big game live on Sky Sports 2 or via live streaming on Sky Go or Watch Sky Sports.
The cannot-miss-it encounter can be watched live by audience living in the US on ESPN, while the action can also be live streamed on Watch ESPN. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the World Cup match live on OSN with the live stream option on OSN Play.