ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India vs Pakistan, match preview: Will Pakistan pose sufficient threat to Virat Kohli, team India?

ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India vs Pakistan: Virat Kohli-led team Indian will take on Pakistan at Edgbaston in England

Defending champions India is all set to take on arch-rivals Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match at Edgbaston in England shortly. Indian team-led by Virat Kohli would go into the tie as favourites because of their past performances and the presence of star players like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan among others. Skipper Virat Kohli, who struggled with the bat in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, is back  in form after he scored 52 against New Zealand in a warm-up match.

On the other hand Pakistan, who are on No.8 in ICC ODI Rankings, will also be under pressure for this tie. Sarfraz Ahmed, however, looked confident as he said on the eve of match that they are ready with their plans to tackle the star Indian batting line up. Babar Azam is one person who could threathen India, his ability to adapt to conditions could be the key and he could provide the much-needed stability in the middle-order.

On facing Pakistan, Virat Kohli in his press conference yesterday said, “We do not know whom to play as we have a lot of options and all of them are in good form. You can never take them lightly.”

Pakistan skipper too addressed the presence conference ahead of their clash. Sarfaraz Khan said,  “India is good on the paper but we have the variety and we are believing that we will show that we can do it on the day.”

The last five “big” matches between these sides – 2012 World T20, 2013 Champions Trophy, 2014 World T20, 2015 World Cup 2015 and 2016 World T20 – have been quite one-sided, India have emerged trumps and that will for certain play a massive role. Over the last 10-15 years we have seen the powers shifting and today India dominates Pakistan on most occasions.

In five ODIs against Pakistan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar averages 21.55 and concedes runs at 4.21 an over, compared to career numbers of 39.62 and 4.95. Jasprit Bumrah will be his partner in the death overs and going by their devasting IPL form, they could be a handful at the backend of the innings.

The match starts at 1500 hrs, you can live stream it on Hotstar and watch it on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD.

Possible squads:

India (possible) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9, 10 and 11 three out of R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav

Pakistan (possible) 1 Azhar Ali, 2 Ahmed Shehzad, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz/Junaid Khan, 11 Hasan Ali