This is a huge game – India have never lost to their neighbours in a T20 World Cup; meanwhile, Pakistan have played a lot of international cricket in Dubai and are well-acquainted with the surface.
Both teams will feel the heat to put up a good show to some 1.5 billion fans and in all fairness, anything can happen. But given India’s superiority in the T20 cricket and their flawless performance in the practice games, we are going to back them in our India vs Pakistan predictions and betting tips.
India are the No. 2 ranked team in T20 cricket and it is hard not to fancy a deep run for them in this year’s World Cup. Even though they may not have picked the right squad, there is still plenty of talent in the team to get the job done.
Virat Kohli led his men to a successful outing in the practice games, beating England and Australia by 7 and 8 wickets respectively. In both those games, India chased down fairly huge totals of 188 runs and 152 runs.
Looking at their overall T20 form, India have won seven of their last 10 international series in the 20-0ver format, with their recent exploits coming against the giants like West Indies, New Zealand, Australia, and England. Even though they lost their most recent series to Sri Lanka, let’s remember that it was India’s B-Team in Colombo, hit further by Covid-19 cases.
All in all, there is little to worry about for India here. With the Indian Premier League ending only less than 10 days ago in the UAE, the boys could not have asked for a better tune-up.
All that remains is fine-tuning the starting 11. To pick Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav, or to select between Varun Chakravarthy or Ravichandran Ashwin. Whatever way Kohli goes, his army should manage this fixture with finesse and maturity.
At some level, Babar Azam knows that he has his task cut out for him. Despite commanding a pretty decent squad that is ranked 3rd in the ICC’s T20I rankings, he knows that Pakistan will walk into this match as the underdogs.
The Green Army have seen their fair share of matches in Dubai – the Pakistan Super League concluded here in June although, they haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket since. A series loss in England was followed by a washed-out tour in West Indies where they could play just one of the four scheduled matches.
Pakistan were supposed to play New Zealand and England as part of their World Cup preparations, but both those tours went down in smoke.
Looking at their play in the practice matches, they defeated West Indies by 7 wickets but succumbed to South Africa thereafter by 6, failing to defend a target of 187 runs against the Proteans.
But there is cause to be hopeful – Pakistan are fielding a capable roster that will look to draw some blood against their Indian neighbours. Between Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, they have two exceptional batters while the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf will lead the bowling charge.
They also have plenty of experience in Shoaib Malik who can guide the team through tricky situations.
Pakistan’ Likely XI
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Nawaz, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf
Venue & conditions
Dubai hosted plenty of IPL matches this season and boasts a pitch that is primed for batting. Indian batters will find themselves with a huge advantage here, barring the nerves of performing.
Statistically, chasing seems to be the norm in Dubai although, teams with good bowling line-up have defended their totals just as successfully. All things considered, we are looking at a high-scoring venue where a score upwards of 160 runs is certainly on the cards.
Let’s look at the head to head tally between India and Pakistan in T20 cricket.
In the eight matches played, it is 7-1 to India, including the wins they have garnered in their previous T20 World Cup meetings. They have won their last four matches in a row, all of which took place in the Indian subcontinent.
India vs Pakistan Toss Prediction
Things are much more even in the toss department with 4-4. India, however, have won the toss in their last three meetings. This time, let’s back Pakistan to win the toss in our India vs Pakistan coin toss predictions.
Let’s face it – India are much better suited to navigate this fixture and come out as the winners. They have momentum on their side, their players are in impeccable form, and like for like, they are fairly superior to Pakistan.
Nerves will obviously play a huge role on Sunday and for the reasons mentioned above, India should do well to overcome them with ease.
Then, there’s also their flawless record in the T20 Cricket World Cup against their neighbours. Lastly, in a game between India and Pakistan, any Indian cricket fan will always back India, irrespective of the form and stats. Need we say more?
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Babar Azam has scored more runs in T20I cricket than any other batsman in the last three years. There is a reason why he is the No. 2 ranked batter in the 20-20 format – he can get the runs.
As the captain, the onus will be on him to lead the charge against the star-studded Indian bowling line-up. And in all fairness, he can do so and emerge as the top batter for Pakistan on Sunday evening.
Earlier in the season, he smashed a century against South Africa and later, scored 50+ runs in individual games against Zimbabwe, West Indies, and England.