The 2023 world cup is knocking on our doors. The tournament is set to begin on October 5. Everyone is very excited for the thrilling matches and amazing performances to transport them into a whole new world. The only thing more captivating than the series itself is the greatest rivalry between India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan have always been at war when it comes to cricket.
With both sides having capable players and fans who wear their heart on their sleeves, some mishaps are bound to happen. But these only make the upcoming matches that much more exciting. The high-octane clash is set to be played on the 14th October in Ahmedabad just before Babar celebrates his 29th birthday.
Head to Head in Ahmedabad Stadium
At the Ahmedabad Stadium, Pakistan has only participated in three matches, out of which they have won one. On the other end, the Indian team has played in 41 games in this stadium, with 21 victories to the credit.
India in the Greatest Rivalry this Season
The hosts have managed to lift the trophy twice before so their victory isn’t so far-fetched. Apart from having the home advantage, the Indian squad seems to consist of some phenomenal names.
With an opener like Shubnam Gill who is at the peak of his form, and the top order adorned with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, it will not be easy to beat this team. This strong batting lineup is followed by an equally capable bowling lineup. With the likes of Jadeja and Arshdeep, the team seems to have all bases covered.
In addition to these players, the Indian team will be much more comfortable playing on their home ground. Not only will they be aware of the conditions but they will also have the support of their fans which can play a key role in a team’s performance.
According to Kapil Dev, India is definitely in the top 4 to win the tournament. However, it is important for the team to manage their injured players. Injury breakdowns have been very widespread in recent years which has caused some major players to sit big matches out.
A prime example of this is the injury of Bumrah. He has had to miss out on some of the most important events like the Asia Cup and the T20 world cup 2022. Although the pacer is back to the team as he is set to lead his side against Ireland, the relapse of Bumrah’s injury can hurt the team in the mega-event.
Overall, chances for the Indian team look very good in terms of their victory this world cup season. They might just be the team to be the victor of the greatest rivalry.
The Historic Disadvantage and New Hope
If we talk about the Pakistan cricket team, one of the key questions swirling among cricket enthusiasts and experts is whether Pakistan can finally overcome its historic disadvantage against India. Historically, Pakistan has never beaten India in an ICC ODI World Cup.
Yet, there have been occasions when the ‘Green Shirts’ came close to reversing the trend. Under Babar Azam’s leadership, there’s a new sense of optimism that Pakistan might have a chance to outshine India in the forthcoming World Cup. The greatest rivalry between the two teams only adds to the intrigue.
Potential Game Changers in the greatest rivalry clash
So who might be the game changers for Pakistan? Unsurprisingly, Babar Azam, the Pakistani skipper, tops the list. He previously led Pakistan to their first T20 World Cup victory in 2021. Could Azam recreate this success in the ODI format? There’s every chance he might.
With a lineup that includes in-form players like Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Rizwan, Salman Ali Agha, Shadab Khan, and Naseem Shah, Pakistan’s chances seem more promising than ever.
The Strength of the Batting Line-up
Babar has consistently demonstrated his prowess in the ODI format, currently holding the top position. Opening batsmen Fakhar and Imam have repeatedly provided solid foundations for the team.
Additionally, the rise of Rizwan and Agha could be a boon for Pakistan, given their recent match-winning performances in earlier games against New Zealand.
The Role of the Bowling Unit
While Pakistan’s batting lineup is strong, they’ve often relied on their bowlers to clinch victories. In this regard, the performances of Naseem Shah and the return of Shaheen Shah Afridi could prove pivotal, as Pakistan has typically relied on their pacers to perform under pressure.
The dynamic Haris Rauf is expected to be the third option in the pace unit, while backup options like Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Mohammad Hasnain, and Zaman Khan have shown promising performances as well.
Potential Inclusion of Injured Pacer
The potential inclusion of Ihsanullah could be beneficial, although the right-arm pacer is currently grappling with an injury.
A Promising Team for the ODI World Cup
Overall, Pakistan’s roster includes players capable of challenging any team in the forthcoming ODI World Cup, not least their arch-rivals, India. And same can be said for the Indian team as they will have the home advantage as well, which surely plays a key role in the mega-events.
This time around, it’s not only the greatest rivalry between the teams that will make the event special. Players from both sides possess remarkable talent and are prepared to give it their all, ensuring that fans remain on the edge of their seats throughout the competition.
Graphics by Omar Farooq Halim
Content Contributions by Areeha Afzal & Atika Mehboob