India vs. Pakistan cricket match, players in action. India vs. Pakistan cricket match, players in action.

The big apple set to host India vs Pakistan

Cricket’s biggest rivals are all set to meet again as the Nassau Stadium in New York awaits the spectacle between India and Pakistan. Their last meeting in a T20 World Cup was in 2022 in Melbourne and that match changed the landscape of the whole tournament as India managed to get past Pakistan courtesy of perhaps one of the greatest ever T20 knocks by none other than Virat Kohli.

The freshly built Nassau Stadium will be hosting the much-anticipated encounter. The stadium holds a capacity of 34,000 and a full house will be a message to the whole country about the spectacle cricket can be. The crowd though, won’t be as big in number as Melbourne, or as one-sided as Ahmedabad.

This match holds double the amount of significance for Pakistan than it does for India. Babar Azam’s side suffered a shocking defeat against the USA, a loss being regarded as perhaps the biggest upset in T20 World Cup’s history. A defeat in this fixture would most likely end Pakistan’s journey in this tournament and they’ll be hoping for the results of other group matches going their way, as if they are already not.

India will arrive in this match full of confidence as they handed Ireland a thrashing to remember. Rohit Sharma and his men have made New York their home and are well aware of the condition. Pakistan on the other hand have not enjoyed such luxury. They played their first game in Dallas and arrived in New York Friday morning. They then had to change their hotel to void the long commute to the ground. 

Pakistan’s recent T20 form hasn’t been great. They drew the series 2-2 against a depleted New Zealand side in April and then lost to Ireland in the first match of the three-match series against them. Although they managed to win the series eventually, but it wasn’t one-sided by any means. They traveled to England to play four T20Is as a warm-up for this World Cup, however, two out of the four games were washed out due to rain. The two completed games saw England dominating Pakistan for the most part as the Men in Green lost both.

India are likely to field the same playing XI that beat Ireland by eight wickets in the opening fixture. Virat Kohli is opening again for India alongside Rohit Sharma while the returning Rishabh Pant has been placed at number three. Suryakumar Yadav does not have a great record against Pakistan but would be looking to put that behind him. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are the two most obvious inclusions while Axar Patel is expected to be preferred over Kuldeep Yadav once again.

The good news for Babar Azam is that Imad Wasim, who missed out on the game against the USA, is fit for the match against India. There are also reports of Saim Ayub coming back into the playing XI but would be interesting to see who he replaces. Iftikhar Ahmed is also likely to keep his spot while the four pacers are also rearing to go against the strong Indian batting lineup.

The playing surface at the Nassau Stadium has been talked about a lot for its unpredictable bounce and assistance to the bowlers. This match however will be played on a fresher pitch. Not to say that the game between the Netherlands and South Africa was also played on this very surface and it also turned out to be a low-scoring one.