Pakistan opt to bowl against India in key T20 World Cup clash

AFP News Agency

24th Oct, 2021. 06:45 pm
Pakistan opt to bowl against India in key T20 World Cup clash

India’s captain Virat Kohli (C) tosses a coin as his Pakistan’s counterpart Babar Azam (R) looks on before the start of the ICC men’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between India and Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai on October 24, 2021. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

DUBAI, Oct 24, 2021 (AFP) – Pakistan captain Babar Azam won the toss and elected to bowl first against India in a much-anticipated Super 12 clash of the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday.

The 2009 champions are looking to break their World Cup jinx against fierce rivals India and Babar says they have come to Dubai well-prepared.

“We’ll look to take early wickets and put pressure,” Babar said at a noisy stadium filled with fans of both the teams.

“We have had good practice sessions and I am confident about our preparations. Pakistan’s bowlers are known to trouble other teams but I am confident about our batting too.”

Senior all-rounder Shoaib Malik has been included in the team for the match, which both teams’ first of the tournament.

India have beaten Pakistan in all 12 matches at the T20 and 50-over World Cups.

Skipper Virat Kohli said his team would keep their emotions in check.

“We are pretty happy with setting the target,” said Kohli, who will be captaining the Indian T20 side for the last time in this tournament.

“We are pretty balanced with our squad and you need to be prepared for it. We need to stay as professional as possible.”

This match will draw a global audience of millions and Kohli said: “Everyone watches it closely all over the world. We can use that as a motivation, but we need to ensure we don’t get too emotional and need to just stay professional.”

India are playing with three seamers, two spinners and an allrounder in Hardik Pandya.

Kohli’s India come into the contest with an unbeaten 5-0 record in the tournament. The two teams last met at the 50-over World Cup in England in 2019.

Matches between the two cricket-crazy nations have been few and far between since India cut bilateral ties with its neighbour in 2007.

 

Teams

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakaravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan: Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi

 

Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Marais Erasmus (RSA)

TV Umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)

Match Referee: David Boon

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