Pakistan and India have met five times in the ICC World Cup tournament. Being arch-rivals, one team’s victory is bound to hurt the other badly. Pakistan has been that team on all five instances.
For obvious reasons, Pakistan considers the defeat streak a jinx and is determined to win against India in their opening match on 15th February 2015.
Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s current coach was a member of Pakistan’s losing side on two occasions – 1996 and 2003. He expressed his desire of overcoming this jinx claiming that it was one of their primary objectives in the 2015 ICC World Cup.
“In our last World Cup meeting (at Mohali in 2011 World Cup semi-finals) we lost to them (India). We are trying to pick up from where we left it and end up on the winning side this time,” said the former Pakistan pace bowler.
Former Pakistani batting great Zaheer Abbas, too, believes that Pakistan will overcome the odds and beat India considering the latter’s dismal performance in Australia recently.
According to Abbas, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa will make it to the semi-finals. The fourth team to join them will be either Pakistan or India.
In all its victories against Pakistan in the World Cup, India has batted first four times. That could be a sign Pakistan would want to take into account; maybe bat first and set a mammoth target forcing Indian batsmen to make mistakes.
On the other hand, India’s line-up comprises many new faces with several playing this major tournament for the first time. India has always been renowned for its steady batting.
With Rohit Sharma scoring 150 runs against Afghanistan yesterday, he could pose as a serious threat to the Pakistani team. Besides Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Ajinkya Rahane are in spectacular form, too.
Pakistan played its warm-up match against Bangladesh only to manage a narrow victory by three wickets with eleven balls remaining. Where Bangladesh’s top order shined, it was Pakistan’s middle order that took it upon itself to chase the target of 247 runs.
During the warm-up game against Bangladesh, Pakistani pace bowler Sohail Khan developed calf muscle strain after bowling just six overs. Though it is a concern to the Pakistani team, doctors are closely monitoring him and claim he will be fit before India and Pakistan lock horns on the 15th of February.
The Pakistan team, be it players or support staff, has always made tall claims before the match against India during all World Cups only to fall flat on their face. So far, 2015 has not been any different. The Pakistani coach and former players have spoken about their belief in the current team. It will only be on the day that we know whether or not the players perform up to their potential.