The moment has arrived and the whole cricket fraternity is awaiting the mega match between India and Pakistan to be held on 16 June Sunday at Manchester. On paper India is the stronger side and look the favourites. However Pakistan has already shown in this event that they cannot be taken lightly with their aura of unpredictability. We have made an effort here to weigh both the team strengths man to man on a scale of 10 as under to find out which team has the edge :
Fakkar Jaman v KL Rahul: Jaman has been one of the big success stories in recent times for Pakistan giving them the starts which used to be provided by Saved Anwar in earlier generation. Has been hitting his share of tons and has grown in confidence in 50 over format averaging 48 with a high strike rate of 98. With Dhawan injured India has a disadvantage in this area as KL Rahul will be opening and he has not been a success so far in 50 over format compared to T20 format.Ratings : Fakkar (8/10), Rahul (5/10)
Rohit Sharma vs Imam Ul Haq: Imam has been one of the big successes for Pakistan in last 2 years and showed more consistency than Rohit in 50 overs format averging 50 plus and playing a steady role whole opening. Rohit of late has not been at his fluent best, and has been concentrating on building a platform before unfurling his aggression. However he is still churning out runs even if not at his best and can still play those match winning knocks as he showed against South Africa .Ratings equal : Imam (8) ,Rohit (8)
Virat Kohli v Babar Azam : Babar Azam has become the mainstay of Pakistan batting and is their most talented player ,poccessing all the strokes and has been scoring stacks of runs all over the world. However Virat Kohli is a player of different level and keeps churning out match turning knocks even if not playing at his best– a sign of an all time great. Rating : Kohli (9.5) , Babar (8)
Md Hafeez v Vijay Shankar: With Dhawan injured KL Rahul will be opening, hence the number 4 for India will in all probability go to Vijay Shankar (unless Dhoni is pushed up the order). In this spot Pakistan has a definite edge with Md Hafeez presently in very good batting form and Shankar an unknown quantity for this spot. Both can add up as 6th bowler. Rating: Hafeez (8) Shankar (5)
MS Dhoni v Sarfaraz Ahmed: Not much of a contest here. Sarfaraz has batted well in this event but could not take team to win vs Australia. Both batting and Keeping wise Dhoni is ahead . In addition Dhoni’s tactical acumen works very well for Kohli. Rating : Dhoni (9) Sarfraz (7).
Kedar Jadav v Shoaib Malik : Malik is yet to set the Thames on fire in this event and Kedar has not batted in this event though he has bowled his share of overs. Overall Kedar adds more utility but not much to choose here.Rating: Kedar (6),Malik (5)
Asif Ali v Hardik Pandya : Another no contest with Pandya making huge impact as a batsman in the slog overs , bowling his quota of overs and a brilliant fielder to boot. Asif Ali is yet to make any impact in this event and dropped easy sitters. It is possible that Shadab Khan might play in India game instead of Asif .Hardik with his batting has the edge over Shadab as well .Rating: Pandya (8.5) ,Asif (4).
Bhuvneswar Kumar v Hassan Ali: Qualitywise Bhuvneswar is far ahead than Hassan Ali in bowling and also in decent form in this World cup. Ali ‘s form with the ball has been wayward so far but he has played a good hand in batting against the Aussies raising winning hopes. Rating: Bhuvneswar(8.5) Hassan Ali (7).
Kuldeep Yadav v Wahab Riaz: Wahab has been patchy with the ball but played almost a match winning knock v Australia. Kuldeep has bowled well so far but is yet to strike his best form which he produced in last couple of years. Also there is a possibility of Shami playing for Kuldeep in case of overcast conditions . Rating : Kuldeep (7) ,Wahab (7.5)
Mohammed Amir v Jasprit Bumrah : Both have done well so far . Bumrah was superb vs South Africa and very sharp in his 1st spell vs Australia. Amir used the conditions and bowled superbly vs Australia taking a fiver and getting Pakistan back in the game. Both are premier bowlers for their team. Rating : Bumrah (9) , Amir (9).
Yuzi Chahal v Shaheen Afridi: Chahal has been very sharp in all the matches providing crucial breakthroughs. Shaheen has displayed good pace but needs to get more consistent. Rating: Chahal (9) ,Shaheen (7).
Overall in the above ratings India has scored 84.5 points and Pakistan scored 78.5 points .
As usual India v Pakistan matches promises to be exciting and tense contest. In all 3 disciplines India are ahead and are definitely favourites as man to man they are stronger but Pakistan had already shown in this event that they can have massive form swings and can be dangerous as the hosts have already found out.