There isn’t any bigger rivalry in the cricketing world than the mighty India-Pakistan battle. India has an incredible record against Pakistan in the history of the World Cup. The teams first locked horns back in 1992 at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Men in Blue came out trumps by 43 runs. Ever since then Pakistan has lost five matches in a row. Quite expectantly, India is being deemed as the firm favourites to win their clash on June 16 at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
There was a doubt over hosting the marquee clash after the Pulwama Attacks in February, but the match is set to take place as per scheduled as of now. It was in a similar setup, a Sunday in the June of 2017 that Pakistan had thrashed India in the final of the Champions Trophy, to mark their second biggest 50-overs trophy win after the 1992 World Cup triumph.
Two years since then, the arch-rivals are set to lock horns in a high-voltage World Cup 2019 clash at Old Trafford and both sides are gearing up for the moment. Ahead of the key encounter, former pacer Waqar Younis has shared some useful insights for the team.
India has so far been the better side of the two without dropping a game. They won two of their three games while one match (against New Zealand) was washed out. Pakistan, on the other hand, have lost two out of their four games so far and won one. The other game (against Sri Lanka) has been abandoned.
Pakistan have got to take positives
Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis feels Sarfaraz Ahmed‘s side should take inspiration from the Champions Trophy final at Lord’s and look for early wickets against Virat Kohli’s side which has a strong batting line-up. Pakistan had rattled the famed Indian batting line-up in the Champions Trophy final to win by a mammoth 180 runs.
In his column for the ICC, Younis wrote: “It’s simple — if Pakistan want to stay in the tournament, they have to bring an ‘A plus’ performance and win that game.”
Pakistan started their World Cup campaign on a disappointing note as they were bowled out by the West Indies for a paltry 105. They brushed that aside and managed to post an impressive total of 348 against England in the next game but produced yet another ordinary performance with the bat against Australia on Wednesday to lose by 41 runs.
“Pakistan have got to take positives out of what they did to India in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy a couple of years ago. They must think positively going into the game,” Younis, who had led Pakistan against India in the 2003 World Cup, added.
The Men in Green will be banking heavily on Mohammad Amir who came up with a fifer against Australia to return to form with a bang. He had also rattled India in the final of the Champions Trophy two years ago and Sarfaraz will be expecting him to deliver on Sunday as well.