India vs Pakistan, Preview World Cup 2023: Predicted XI, key players, weather report, where to watch
World Cup 2023 Preview: India vs. Pakistan The Men in Blue have a perfect record against their arch-rivals in this competition, and they will try to extend that in front of a record crowd in the world's largest cricket arena.
India will play Pakistan on Saturday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad in an attempt to win the ICC Men's ODI World Cup for the eighth time in a row.
The Men in Blue have a perfect record against their fiercest opponents in this competition, and they will want to live up to the high expectations placed on them in front of a record attendance in the largest cricket stadium in the world.
In their opening two games of the competition, Rohit Sharma and his side have won both of them. They thrashed Afghanistan in New Delhi after defeating Australia in an exciting match in Chennai.
In a similar vein, Pakistan defeated the Netherlands rather handily before setting a record in their World Cup pursuit against Sri Lanka. Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium hosted both of their games.
Prior to this historic match, Shubman Gill is back in the nets and has even put in an hour of practise. The right-hander will enter the playing XI and take the place of either Shreyas Iyer or Ishan Kishan, if fit.
Against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Kishan, playing in the middle order in a vulnerable situation, produced a clutch performance of 82 runs.
Iyer stormed back into the picture following an incredible century against Australia in Indore last month. Both of these players are suitable at No. 4, but Ishan's left-handedness allows India to face Mohammed Nawaz and Shadab Khan in the middle overs.
Nevertheless, Iyer's ability to block spin is just as great, so there will be a pleasant little contest between the two batters.
For the eighth berth, India will also need to select between Shardul Thakur and Ravichandran Ashwin. Although they are both equally effective at hitting, the team management will ultimately make a decision based on the characteristics of the track and their evaluation of the opposition.
In his 10 overs against Australia, Ashwin returned with a wicket and a maiden in exchange for 34 runs. Thakur lost wicket in front of Afghanistan after giving up 31 runs in six overs.
Pakistan will be optimistic going forward, having just pulled off a 345 chase against the Lankans in their previous encounter. Abdullah Shafique was brought in as a batsman to replace Fakhar Zaman, and his 103 runs solidified his place at the top of the order.
This move paid off handsomely. In this important match, Pakistan will once more rely on the skill of Shaheen Shah Afridi to extract early wickets and cause trouble for the Indian team.
Predicted Playing XI
India: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam ul Haq, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf
Virat Kohli (India)
Virat Kohli has scored two half-centuries in the opening couple of the matches of the World Cup so far.
Virat Kohli loves the big moments and moments don't come much bigger than this. The batting mainstay stepped up big time against Australia and he will again be called to action against the Pakistani pace attack on Saturday.
With an average of 55.17 and strike rate of 100.61, Kohli has three tons and two half-centuries in ODIs against the neighbours. Pakistan will single him out as the man to watch out for in the coming game.
Babar Azam (Pakistan)
Babar Azam has been unable to perform well with the bat in the World Cup so far.
Pressure will be mounting on Babar Azam after his disappointing returns with the bat in the opening two games. The batter has aggregated 15 runs in two games, but there will be no better time to roar back into form than against India. Babar averages 28 at a strike rate of 72.41 in seven ODIs against India.
He hasn't scored even a half-century against the Men in Blue and Pakistan will want their captain heading ahead into the tournament.
Played - 134
India - 56
Pakistan - 73
No Result - 5
The average first innings score in 29 ODIs at this venue is 237. However, one can expect a fairly high-scoring encounter given that the pitch will be fresh and helpful for batting early on in the tournament.
The temperature is expected to hover between 30°C-34°C in Ahmedabad during the course of the game. Humidity is likely to be around 36% in the city.
Where to Watch
The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network and it will be streamed digitally on the Disney+Hotstar application. Mobile users will have access to the latter for free. The game will start at 2 PM IST, Saturday.