About the Match
India lost its opening game against New Zealand in a disappointing way by 47 runs and now finds itself in pressure to perform; when they take on Pakistan in the upcoming match at Kolkata on 19th March, the Indians will need to come out all guns blazing. Pakistan on the other hand registered an emphatic victory
against Bangladesh by a massive 55-run margin to accumulate 2 points. With expectations running high from fans on both sides, India and Pakistan will be at loggerheads to emerge victorious on Saturday.
While the bowlers did a good job, taking wickets consistently, the batsmen put up a dismal show and were unable to chase down a target of 126 runs against the Kiwis. Except Dhoni and Kohli, the others lacked application; they will need to do well in each game from now on.
The pace combination of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and the experienced Ashish Nehra seems to be working for them and they will need to play an important role against the Pakistanis to bring in an element of surprise. Spinners Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin, Jadeja and Raina have the work cut out for them against long-time rivals Pakistan, who can play spin comfortably well.
The batting line-up has established batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Dhoni and Jadeja but they should take a cautious approach against the Pakistani bowlers, who are in tremendous form at the moment. If the batsmen play sensible cricket whether setting a target or during chase, India which has a good record against Pakistan can definitely win.
Batting first, the Pakistani batsmen displayed grit and determination to post a competitive total against Bangladesh after having burnt their fingers recently in the Asia Cup. Ahmed Shehzad scored a well-made half-century while Mohammad Hafeez posted a brilliant 64 off 42 deliveries to provide the momentum at the top. Shoaib Malik and Sharjeel Khan contributed well but it was Shahid Afridi who packed a punch against the Bangladeshi bowlers as he scored a quick fire 49 off just 19 balls and helped them post 201 runs in the end.
The bowlers came out ruthlessly to topple the opposition as Mohammad Amir and Shahid Afridi took 2 wickets each and Irfan and Wasim supported with a wicket each; they maintained good discipline and stifled Bangladesh to win the match by 55 runs. Shahid Afridi has led the team from the front with his all-rounder skills and is a great asset for the team with his leadership technique as well.
With a battery of seamers like Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir and Anwar Ali, Pakistan can surely do well against the famed Indian batting line-up; if the spinners can exploit the ground conditions and the batsmen hold their nerves together in a chase, this team can prove to be a formidable force to reckon with on Saturday.
India has never lost a game against Pakistan in any format of World Cup while Pakistan has a stupendous record against India at Eden Gardens. The match comes with huge pressure for both teams and mistakes are bound to happen; although they have their own sets of positives, we feel that India with the home advantage will do well to triumph in the end