The much awaited and anticipated contest or war of modern days cricket, India and Pakistan will lock horns at the group stage of another ICC tournament champions trophy. Pakistan have lost their last five major event matches against India. But rather than the old fashioned rivalry, this time the event is set low and not much of an anticlimax is expected out of the match. Everytime the two neighbouring teams clash with each other, the encounter is more interesting than any major event final. Pakistan have a little bit of morale victory as there is some unrest going on between indian players and coaching staff. But Pakistan way to Victory will not be easy as India are in great form while Pakistan are performing little disappointing than their previous status. Nonetheless, this match will be the most anticipated one of the tournament and keeping in mind that Pakistan have only won 4 times against India in last 15 matches, confidence would be much higher in the Indian camp.
What: India vs Pakistan, champions trophy, 4th Match, 15:00 IST
Where: Edgbaston, Birmingham
What to expect: pitch would be same as the previous match between New Zealand and Australia. Weather forecast is shower in the morning but a whole match is expected.
India: this is the rare occasions when India will have to choose from all four deserving bowlers for the slot of three. And if Hardik Pandya is likely to play than Ashwin is the one to miss out. Yuvraj Singh inclusion is not fixed and if he misses out Dinesh Karthik could get a game.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9, 10 and 11 three out of R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav
Pakistan: Azhar Ali old fashioned batting fits the scenario and conditions of pitch and he will be included in the playing XI. Shadab Khan might be overlooked due to extra batting option of Faheem Ashraf.
Probable XI: 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz/Junaid Khan, 11 Hasan Ali
Players in the Spotlight:
Virat Kohli: against Pakistan Kohli have scored 4 centuries in as many as 10 matches. His averages reduces at England soil which he would love to improve. The main backbone of Indian batting line up would love to score Big at the tournament opener.
Babar Azam: often compared with Virat Kohli, if not as good, he is not bad either. This number three batsman will face the Indian seamer for the first at such major event. A little shaken form would not harm his hunger for scoring runs for his team.
Match Prediction: defending champion India are the firm favorite to win the battle but Pakistan is always a tough competition for team India.