The all-important India vs Pakistan contest at the T20 World Cup 2022 is upon us. On Sunday night (October 23), more than 50,000 fans will witness the Mother of All Battles live at the iconic MCG. That is when the weather permits. There is a high chance of rain playing a spoilsport in Melbourne as the city is expected to receive heavy rain on Sunday. The fingers will be crossed and hopefully we will get to see a match between these countries who do not play vs each other on a regular basis. Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam’s teams have prepared well for this big match. 

ICC, on Friday (October 21), released a list of key battles to watch out for in the India vs Pakistan match. Take a look at all of them below:

Shaheen Afridi v KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma

We all know what happened between India and Pakistan match at the T20 World Cup 2021 with Shaheen dismissing both Rahul and Rohit with inswingers. The same inswinger will be the one to watch out for. Shaheen is returning after a long layoff due to his knee injury. He does not look to be at his best yet. The India vs Pakistan clash could just about bring out his best, who knows. But that is also true that this time, India’s top 3 – Rahul, Rohit and Virat Kohli – will be better prepared for Shaheen. However, it still remains a big battle to watch out for. 

India’s death bowlers vs Asif Ali

Asif Ali is Pakistan’s finisher and his task is to come late and smash sixes and boundaries to help team chase down a target or put up a strong total on the board. His job will be to ensure he tackles India’s experienced death overs specilaists like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel and Arshdeep Singh. 

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan v Bhuvneshwar Kumar

It would not be wrong to say that Pakistan will be dependent on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan not just in vs India but throughout the T20 World Cup 2022. Their middle order is in a muddle and that puts further pressure on Pakistan’s top order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar may have gone for runs of late but he will be a different bowler in the pace-friendly conditions of Australia. He will extract the bounce as well as get seam and swing movement. Babar-Rizwan vs Bhuvi will be one big battle within the battle. 

Suryakumar Yadav v Shadab Khan

Suryakumar Yadav is in form of his life. His biggest skill is that he can play 360 both vs spin and pace. He should ideally come to bat when Shadab Khan and other spinners are bowling. Shadab Khan typically keeps things tight through the middle overs for Pakistan, building pressure and delivering plenty of wickets – 87 in 73 innings in T20Is at a strike rate of 18.8. It would be interesting to see how Surya goes vs Shadab’s smart leggies. 

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By Dipak

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