Match Preview: India v Pakistan

2015 World Cup

Venue

The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Team news

India have already sent an injured Ishant Sharma home, and are set to be without Bhuvneshwar Kumar here as he's not quite recovered. So the pace attack will be down to Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami, with either Mohit Sharma or Stuart Binny backing them up. If they opt for a bit more batting, then Binny should get the nod, despite his lacklustre efforts thus far.

India's batting order looks great on paper, though they have not enjoyed their many months in Australia. But Virat Kohli is a colossus in the format, while Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have many runs in them. Pakistan's bowlers will need to get rid of them quickly.

Pakistan come into the game on the back of a warm up win against England, where skipper Misbah-ul-Haq once again got close to a ton. Umar Akmal also did well with the bat and is likely to play instead of Sarfraz Ahmed, who had been the prefered choice in the UAE.

Ahmed Shehzad passed a fitness test on Saturday, and should be good to go at the top of the order. It remains to be seen how much Pakistan miss Saeed Ajmal and Mohammed Hafeez's spin, despite the pacey decks.

Last encounter

The sides last faced each other a year ago, in the Asia Cup in Bangladesh, and Pakistan secured a narrow one-wicket win. India recorded just 245 for eight, thanks to fifties from Rohit and Rayudu, before Pakistan nearly messed up the chase and reached it in the final over.

World Cup meetings

Their semi-final clash at the 2011 World Cup saw India, who won the tournament, advance with a 29-run win. They made 260 for nine, thanks to 85 from Sachin Tendulkar, before bowling Pakistan out for 231. All five bowlers took two wickets each.

They did not meet in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. The last time they faced each other in Australia was 15 years ago, also in Adelaide. India won that game too, by 48 runs, thanks to a Sourav Ganguly ton.

Key players

For India, Virat Kohli will be feeling the pressure to do well. He one of the top three ODI batsmen in the world, behind AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, and has an average of 51.50 in the format. But… he's hit double figures just once in his past six innings.

Pakistan will be relying on skipper Misbah, given he has a century and three half tons, one of those a 91, since arriving in the Antipodes. He's the rescuer after a collapse, the stable influence, even though he's often ridiculed for batting too slowly. This may be why he doesn't have an ODI ton, but 38 half centuries.

Umpires

Richard Kettleborough and Ian Gould, Steve Davis (3rd umpire), Ranjan Madugalle (match referee)

Weather

No rain on the cards, despite a bit of cloud cover. It's going to be hot though, so the sub-continent lads should feel right at home.

Prediction

India's bowling is pretty poor, but they have a sexy top order with the bat. Pakistan have decent bowlers, with Mo Irfan in the lead, and have an unpredictable batting line up. Tough call… India.

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