Five headlines that will probably sum up the Pakistan versus India WT20 clash
On March 19, Pakistan will face India in a format where the green shirts have a good chance at beating their arch rivals. We cannot write Pakistan off, regardless of the fact that their ‘good’ chance of winning is not more than 25 per cent.
Having said that, the following headlines can be possibly seen in newspapers after the match:
Kohli-stic missle ripped through Pakistan
Form is temporary, class is permanent. This applies to most sportsmen throughout the world. However, Virat Kohli has been so consistent in the limited over format that his form seems as permanent as his class. If India wins, there is high chance that Kohli will not only lay the foundation, but he will also build the innings and take it to finishing line.
Pakistan suffered from Dhoni-fication
Arguably, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (MSD) is the best finisher in limited over cricket. With aging, he is losing flare, but he is still capable of clearing the boundary in crunch stages of the match, as his calm approach enables him to play in extreme pressure. His recent 104m six in penultimate over of Asia Cup 2016 final gives us reassurance on his lethal tactics, especially while chasing.
Amir swings Pakistan to victory
Since his return, Mohammad Amir has asserted himself as the spearhead of Pakistan’s pace attack. His ability to swing ball both ways with pace touching 145+ km/h left the blue shirts baffled in the 2016 Asia Cup. In case Pakistan wins, Amir will probably play a pivotal role by taking wickets with new ball. He can also be very useful in the later part of the innings, as we’ve seen in Asia Cup 2016.
Kolkata turned to mute as Sarfraz topples history
Pakistan has never beaten India in World Cup. In Pakistan line up, Sarfraz Ahmed seems to be the only batsman who can stop another addition in this ‘list of defeats’. His attacking approach without being reckless separates him from the likes of Ahmad Shahzad, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi. He has showcased his talent in short bursts and is the only beacon of hope for Pakistan to put up a decent score.
BOOM BOOM Afridi sinks India
Frankly speaking, I have no faith in Afridi. His list of dismal performances is never ending, and his recent outburst shows his increasing frustration. He is irritated and has not performed well for a long period of time; making the chances extremely high for his show stopping performance. T20 tends to suit him and – against my rationale and gut feeling – I hope that he gives a heroic performance in the innings and wins the match for Pakistan.
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