Pakistan also have the liberty to shuffle around their team. The bowling has been functioning well so it doesn’t need much tinkering. One of the main questions will be whether Shoaib Malik gets another chance in the middle order. Imran Farhat has also had two failures, and it remains to be seen whether he stays in the side.
Pakistan: (probable) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Asad Shafiq, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Amin, 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammad Irfan
The Broad View:
This was supposed to be the marquee clash of the league stage. Tickets for the game were sold out within 30 minutes of being made available online. It isn’t a coincidence that the match is scheduled for Saturday primetime viewing in India and Pakistan and could have decided the group. Instead, to the organisers’ dismay, we are left with a dead rubber as India have already qualified for the semi-finals and Pakistan are all but eliminated.
Unlike most dead rubbers though, there’s still plenty of interest since it is still an India v Pakistan match. The number of contests between the two sides has decreased over the past few years due to the strained political relations between the two countries, and fans are still eager for any chance to see the great rivals face off.
One of India’s proudest one-day records is that they have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup game, having triumphed in all five encounters. Pakistan have a similarly spotless record against India in the Champions Trophy, though there have only been two clashes between the two sides.
While Pakistan will be looking to extend that run in Birmingham, India will be looking for payback after a stinging defeat in the one-day series at home earlier this year.
In that series, Pakistan showed off the potency of their bowling attack, and India’s batsmen were left nonplussed. It will again be a confrontation between Pakistan’s bowling might and India’s batting strength. This time, MS Dhoni’s side have some of the most in-form batsmen around. In contrast, Pakistan’s batting has been seriously underwhelming, while India’s bowlers, about whom there was much apprehension coming into the tournament, have not done too shabbily thus far.
Pitch And Conditions:
It will be another chilly day in Birmingham, with a predicted maximum temperature of 14C. The forecast also suggests light rain through the afternoon. It hasn’t been a run-filled wicket in Edgbaston so far, with a highest total of 269 in three matches. Expect another slow track.