The teams of India and Pakistan will face each other in the ODI World Cup on 14 October. This match will be played at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad from 2 pm. So far, 7 matches have been played between the two teams in the World Cup, in all of which India defeated Pakistan. This time also Team India is a strong contender for victory.
Till the Asia Cup in 2023, Pakistan's top-3 batsmen were in excellent form, but since the start of the Asia Cup in September, the form of their top three batsmen has gone down. Their captain Babar Azam could not score even a single fifty after scoring a century against Nepal. Babar failed miserably in the first two matches of the World Cup and could only score 10 and 5 runs.
Against Netherlands, Pakistan lost the wickets of its top-3 batsmen for just 38 runs, while against Sri Lanka the team had to change its opening combination. In this too, Babar and Imam-ul-Haq returned to the pavilion within 37 runs.
On the other hand, Shubman Gill, in the top order of Team India, has started net practice after recovery from dengue. Captain Rohit Sharma scored a century against Afghanistan and Virat Kohli has scored fifty in 2 consecutive World Cup matches. Rohit and Shubman are India's top run scorers in the year 2023, they have scored more runs than Babar. Whereas Virat is now just 8 runs behind Babar.
Even though Mohammad Siraj could not do anything special in the powerplay in the two matches of this World Cup, but for the last four years, he has proved to be the best bowler in the first 10 overs of the ODI match. Since 2019, he has taken 32 wickets in the first 10 overs, which is the highest among India-Pakistan players. During this period, Mohammed Shami has taken 19 wickets and Jasprit Bumrah has taken 18 wickets. Shaheen Afridi's statistics from Pakistan are impressive. He has taken 29 wickets in the first 10 overs since 2019. Haris Rauf is at number-2 for Pakistan. He has taken 13 wickets.
Shaheen remained lackluster in the powerplay of this World Cup, while Jasprit Bumrah from India has taken wickets in both the matches. Naseem Shah not playing is also a big blow for Pakistan, because he provides excellent support to Shaheen in the powerplay and puts pressure on the opposition team. Now due to his absence in the team, the team looks weak in the powerplay. Hasan Ali has definitely done well, but his record against India is nothing special. In the 5 ODIs played so far, he has been able to take only 5 wickets. During this period, he also gave away runs at an economy of 6.70.
The most important phase of ODI cricket is the middle overs, the effect of the team's performance between 11 to 40 overs is visible on the entire match. India has performed well with bowling in this phase. In the last 2 months, Team India's bowlers have taken the maximum of 48 wickets in the middle overs. The team's economy rate was also only 4.96, which is the lowest among other teams. During this period, Pakistan's bowlers could take only 32 wickets in 7 matches, not only this, they also gave away runs at an expensive economy rate of 5.85.
Since 2019, Kuldeep Yadav has taken 77 wickets, Shardul Thakur has taken 43 wickets and Ravindra Jadeja has taken 37 wickets in the middle overs. In the middle overs, only Shadab Khan could take 37 wickets from Pakistan, who is fourth among the players included in the India-Pakistan squad. Mohammed Shami from India has also taken 31 wickets in the middle overs. If he is included in Ahmedabad, he can increase the problems of Pakistan. In IPL, he plays on this ground for Gujarat Titans and has taken 48 wickets in 33 matches in the last 2 seasons.
On Asian pitches, teams whose spinners are strong get more success. Something similar was seen in the Asia Cup and the World Cup being held in India. Team India is playing with 3 top class spinners with different variations like Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja. On the Chennai pitch, these three spinners had put Australia on the backfoot by taking 6 wickets.
This year, Kuldeep Yadav has taken the maximum 36 wickets among the spinners of the team. No other bowler of the World Cup playing team could take more wickets than him. Ravindra Jadeja is at second place among the players of India and Pakistan, he has taken 18 wickets in the year 2023. During this period, Pakistan's Shadab Khan could take only 15 wickets and Mohammad Nawaz could take only 11 wickets. If even a little turn is seen on the pitch of Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, then the Indian spinners will have an upper hand over the Pakistani batsmen.
Pakistan is named among the worst teams when it comes to fielding in international cricket. The team maintained the record in this World Cup also. Pakistani fielders have dropped 4 catches in only 2 matches of this World Cup, not only this, the team has also lost 3 run out chances. During this period, Indian fielders have lost the opportunity of 2 catches and one run out.
Both India and Pakistan teams have taken 11-11 catches in 2-2 matches of the World Cup. That means the success rate of Pakistani fielders in catching catches is only 73%, whereas the success rate of Indian fielders is 85%. Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav from Team India have also taken excellent juggling catches. The team also has top class fielders like Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya. Apart from Shadab Khan, no other player in Pakistan has the image of a top class fielder.
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