The world of cricket turns its head into the new extravaganza as we gear up for the newest edition of the T20 World Cup, to be hosted by BCCI in Oman and UAE from 17th October to 14th November this year.
T20 World Cup has always brought us some extraordinary moments throughout its inception, and we sincerely hope that it won’t be any different this year. ICC has recently announced the groups for the tournament this year. The groups are allocated based on the team ranking as of March 20, 2021, putting India and Pakistan in the same group, along with New Zealand, Afghanistan, and two other qualifiers from Round 1.
With the imminent clash between two Asian rivals, this encounter will add one more chapter to the age-old rivalry.
Group of Death?
Group 2 can be safely considered as the group of death; having previous champions India and Pakistan, along with New Zealand; who has always been the dark horse in the ICC tournaments. Afghanistan fills up the fourth automatic spot in the group; they are also not a team to be taken lightly. The other two spots will be filled by the two qualifiers from Round 1; one of Bangladesh or Sri Lanka is expected to be placed in the group. The tournament was originally scheduled to be hosted in India but was shifted to Oman and UAE due to rising Covid cases in the country. This will also put Oman on the map of the cricketing world; and will help a lot of young players take an interest in the game.
India and Pakistan- Age-Old Rivalry
India and Pakistan, have been locking horns in the ICC tournaments for more than two decades now; producing some of the most exhilarating clashes of all time. A cricket match between India and Pakistan on a world stage has always turned the eyes of the cricketing world. It has always resembled the emotions of millions worldwide. A match-winning performance from either of the teams in this clash has given a player heroic status. It can be safely said that the truest mettle and temperament of the player can be tested with his performance in this high-voltage clash.
India has always trumped over Pakistan in the longer versions of the game beating them in all the encounters. India holds a similar record even in the shorter version of the game, beating Pakistan in all 5 encounters. We were lucky to witness it twice in the first-ever T20 world cup, both of which ended in a nail-biting finish. Indians would fondly remember the 2007 World Cup final, where they have crowned champions after beating their noisy neighbors. They would meet again in the 2012 T20 World Cup, where India defeated Pakistan convincingly, riding upon Virat Kohli’s half-century. These two sides met again in the 2014 edition as well, where again India emerged victorious without breaking any sweat.
However, in this edition, Pakistan would definitely want to break even and pull one back for the record; as they challenge for the title. India would definitely want to increase their unbeaten record against their neighbors; as it gives them a bragging right like no other.
Both India and Pakistan are blessed with a dearth of talented cricketers throughout the generation and the current generation is also no different. All eyes would be on Virat Kohli and Babar Azam, the two most talented players from the respective nations. Eyes will also be on the veteran Mohammed Hafeez, whose experience will come in handy.
India will be going all guns blazing with their talent pool. Along with Kohli, all eyes will also be upon Rishav Pant for his mercurial batting and Rohit Sharma for his undeniable form in the ICC tournaments. Jasprit Bumrah will be leading the bowling unit and will also shoulder a lot of responsibilities.
Overall, it would be a massive encounter to look forward to this coming October. Both the teams will try to forget their previous record and will try to take the game on its head; focusing on winning the group and giving themselves a chance to win the title. For fans, it would surely be a spectacle to witness, absorb and remember for days to come.