India versus Pakistan: Clash of the Titans

"All roads lead to Rome" is what one will encounter on October 23, 2022, when India take on Pakistan in the T20 World Cup

India versus Pakistan: Clash of the Titans


"All roads lead to Rome" is what one will encounter on October 23, 2022, when India take on Pakistan in the T20 World Cup. The city in question will be Melbourne in Australia, where thousands of Asians will throng the stadium and millions of eyeballs will be following it too.

A clash between the two giant Asian cricket-playing countries at a World Cup venue arouses passion, not only on the field but also off it.

Cricket fever engulfs the huge following of both the nations and winning is all that matters finally.

The rivalry between players is only on the field as cricketers respect each other immensely. However, the match has that oomph factor in which mental strength plays an important factor for all the players involved.

The pressure of performance is what induces rash decisions and uncontrollable anxiety. These are the factors that come seriously into play in an India versus Pakistan encounter. A player's success or failure depends on it.

India, fortunately, have a majority of well-experienced players who have been involved in such a pressure-cooker atmosphere previously too.

This is why, one feels India have the upper edge as the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohd Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Dinesh Karthik have all been and seen the situation before.

india, apart from just one defeat, have always beaten their arch-rival, Pakistan, in a World Cup encounter. The only concern for India is that they have tasted defeat against Pakistan not only in the last-held T20 World Cup in 2021, but recently in the 2022 Asia Cup as well.

Maybe, having tasted defeat, India, for a change, have nothing to lose as regards their reputation and so they may come out playing far more freely.

India's approach recently has been to play cricket aggressively and they do have the batting power to do so. They may miss Jasprit Bumrah in the bowling department. However, one feels, they have the ammunition amongst their pacers and spinners to be effective without him.

The larger grounds in Australia bring forth the importance of fielding. Converting the ones into twos for batters has become an important way of keeping the scoreboard moving.

Fielders at the boundary have to be quicker and sharper as not only do they need to save boundaries but the cheeky dabs as well. This is where India will miss Ravindra Jadeja, as apart from Virat Kohli, not many of the other Indian players are blessed either with speed or great fielding acumen.

Fielding is one area that may be the Achilles heel in India's quest to win the Cup.

Pakistan on the other hand have just won a T20 Tri-series in New Zealand. They got the better of Bangladesh and the host team, New Zealand too. This could be just the boost they require after having lost the final of the Asia Cup to Sri Lanka and the seven-match T20I series to England in their backyard.

Pakistan have a young side and seem to be very dependent on their captain, Babar Azam, and their prolific wicketkeeper and opening bat, Mohammad Rizwan. Their batting revolves around both these players and Pakistan seems to collapse when they fail.

The T20 World Cup will be an interesting contest between the final 12 teams. The format itself is so unpredictable and hence every team feels they have a good chance to win. The differences between sides have narrowed drastically as just one good performance by a player could alter the equation between two teams.

Australia, the reigning champions, along with England are sides that look strong. However, they are pitted in the same group along with New Zealand. Unfortunately, only two of them will be able to qualify.

India are the top-ranked T20 side at present in the world. Victories against Australia and South Africa at home should make them the hot favourites to lift the Cup. A win against Pakistan is very important for India to qualify for the semifinals spot. A loss against Pakistan would, thereafter, need them to beat both South Africa and the unpredictable Bangladesh.

There seems to be a very-focused approach in the build-up to the Indian team for this T20 World Cup 2022 tournament. The last-over victory against Australia in their practice game must have been a great booster in the preparation of the Indian side, mentally.

The Indian side has all the skills and experience in their fold and they now need only to relax and believe in themselves.

Diwali, the festival of lights, symbolising the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance is just the auspicious occasion for India to do well in. A World Cup Trophy for India after 11 years would be just what the doctor ordered.

All the best India!

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