T20 World Cup 2021: Match 16 – India vs Pakistan Match Preview, Playing XI and broadcast details

T20 World Cup 2021: Match 16 – India vs Pakistan Match Preview, Playing XI and broadcast details

India-Pakistan might be the only rivalry that garners as much attention notwithstanding its lop-sidedness. 

Virat Kohli and Babar Azam
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

On paper, this is a mismatch. India have dominated Pakistan to an absurd extent in ICC tournaments. So much so, that if statistics are to be solely relied upon, this contest might well end up in the foregone conclusion territory. Is there another way to explain a 12-0 record? Despite that lopsided reading of the numbers, there’s an unmatchable vibe this contest always gives birth to. And that shall remain the case until at least as long as the planet survives.

The reasons behind the high-billing of India-Pakistan encounters might be more non-cricketing than cricketing, but even from a strictly cricketing perspective, there is no reason why this face-off should not be revered – Rohit Sharma, Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Jasprit Bumrah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammed Shami, Hasan Ali. Does a contest that brings up players of this pedigree into action simultaneously need non-cricketing events to derive the hype from? Surely not.

To expect a high-quality, high-intensity rivalry, then, is obvious. But despite such monster talent colliding head-on over the years in whatever little outings these two have had against each other, India’s ability to dominate Pakistan remains unfathomably mysterious. But equally unfathomable is Pakistan’s ability to spring out surprises and conjure performances that defy conventional wisdom. And as hackneyed it is may sound, predictably unpredictable they remain all seasons of the year. So, writing them off in the backdrop of past records is a mistake India would and should not make.

What kind of form, or the lack of it, do these sides enter into the contest with? India bossed both practice games, against England and Australia no less; Pakistan, meanwhile, defeated West Indies convincingly before losing to South Africa in a typical style.

But to the end of being more educated about how the tracks in this part of the world have been playing like recently, India have had better opportunities than their rivals, with the second leg of the Indian Premier League having concluded days before the ongoing event. Having said that, Pakistan are no alien to the UAE venues, which have, for long, rather been their backyard, with international cricket halted in their country in the aftermath of things their cricketers had no control over.

Even as skipper Virat Kohli admitted he takes the game against Pakistan “just like any other game”, that the heart beats a tad faster in the Asian derby for each one of those involved cannot be denied. Rising above the many emotions of this game will be an additional challenge for both sides.

Pitch and conditions

If the recently-concluded IPL is anything to go by, the captain calling correctly at the toss would be better off opting to chase, with nine of the 13 encounters at the venue won by the chasers. And make those ten in 14 after England routed West Indies on October 23, chasing a paltry 55 in 8.2 overs. The track is expected to ease with the dew certain to play a role. The challenge in Dubai for the bowlers has been to tackle the uneven-sized boundary, which batters of each side would look to make maximum use of.

Playing combination for IND vs PAK

India

After an underwhelming IPL season, both Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have summoned their form at the right time. KL Rahul has been blisteringly hot, while despite not contributing with the ball, Hardik Pandya has skipper Virat Kohli’s backing. Despite his mystery spin element, Varun Chakravarthy remains an unsure starter, with a toss-up for the spin spot between R Ashwin’s mastery and Rahul Chahar’s quick spin.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Pakistan 

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been the top T20 scorers in 2021, and have had a role to play in each one of Pakistan’s victories. The heavy-lifting duties with the bat lie once again with them. In a slightly uncommon move, Pakistan named their XII on the eve of the encounter, axing Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Nawaz. The deadly pace troika Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Hasan Ali picks itself. The only question is: Haider Ali or Shoaib Malik?

Predicted XI: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik/Haider Ali, Asif Ali, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi

IND vs PAK Head-to-head

Overall

Matches- 8, India – 6, Pakistan – 1, Tied- 1

In T20 World Cups

Matches- 5, India – 4, Pakistan – 0, Tied – 1

IND vs PAK Broadcast Details

Match Timings – 07:30 PM IST

TV – Star Sports Network

Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar