India, defending champions of World Cup will clash with the arch rival Pakistan on the crease after almost a year’s gap rearing to win the opener Match 4 amid dhols beating, tapping music and shout of Pakistan Jeetega and India Jeetega out-screaming each other in high pitch. INDIA WINS THE TOSS AND OPTS TO BAT.
Match: Pakistan vs India
Venue: Adelaide Oval, Australia
Time: 9 AM IST, 8:45 AM
Umpires: Ian Gould, Richard Kettleborough, Steve
Davis, Michael Gough
Referee: Ranjan Madugalle
Where to Watch Live:
The cricket ICC World Cup opening match between India and Pakistan will be shown live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports HD 1, while the live-streaming will be available onStarsports.com for those on the go. Even Doordarshan is showing it live on its Sports channel, thanks to the Supreme Court.
Pakistan viewers can watch the game on PTV and Ten Sports, and for online live streaming, they can access PTV Live and Ten Sports Live. Those in the UK can see it live on Sky Sports 2 which has been telecasting as Sky Sports World Cup. For live streaming, they can access Sky Go.
Resembling a carnival, the massive showdown on Sunday, February 15, at Adelaide Oval in Australia is resonating an atmosphere of a real time battle in Panipat with the whole stadium draped in India’s saffron, green and white and Pakistan’s green and white flags with 50,000 subcontinental fans.
Defending Team India will proudly enter the stadium as Misbah-ul Haq’s men will be rearing to for the dream come true opportunity to create history by defeating India in a World Cup match for the first time.
Since Pakistan’s formidable ‘boom boom’ Shahid Afridi returned, Younus Khan’s omnipotent presence of stability could give Misbah the ever-present flair and flamboyance. With left-arm paceman Mohammad Irfan looming large on the bowling side who bowls the ball at 9 feet above will savour the Australian pitch on Sunday with 80% accuracy rate on Sunday.
Indian openers will have to face Irfan’s bouncing ball before setting the path for the following line-up at the Oval. Only four members of the current squad – Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ravi Ashwin – have had the 2011 World Cup experience and the other new faces have been groomed over the past three months to face pitch-bound bowlers.
Shikhar Dhawan, who made a half-century in the warm up match and Virat Kohli, in his best form ever with four centuries in four games to take lead on initially. The experienced batsmen have to make runs to compensate the inexperienced bowlers Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
Team India, already experiencing the harsh weather conditions in Australia for over three months in the run up to the World Cup, will be rearing to clash the rivals on a familiar pitch, riding high on the expectations of all the cricket fans, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal back home.
Despite its losses in Tri-Series and the Australia tour, India has learnt to warm up for the crucial match today that has more glory and country’s honour to reckon with. In the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy, India defeated England despite a tense final in Cardiff and a year later in ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, it proved its mettle against Pakistan but lost out to Sri Lanka, as pointed out by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in press conference.
“You reach the quarter-finals, have three good days, have a bit of luck and you could win it. I may make it sound easy but certainly the team is capable. If Virat Kohli has a great run and Dhoni has a great run anything is possible,” said Rahul Dravid, former India captain.
Ishant Sharma ruled out with an injury, his replacement Mohit Sharma has some fire-power with the ball. Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin will have their spin set to test today.
Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni – Co-owners of FC Goa and Chennayin FC respectively in the Indian Super League (football) but rivals in IPL home teams.
Umesh Yadav – He started playing cricket in Nagpur after failing to become an army officer and a policeman.
Ravi Ashwin – India’s lead spinner, started his career as a batsman for Tamil Nadu home team and even opened for it at the Under-17 level.
Sourav Ganguly, India’s former captain was upbeat when he said, ”I think whenever you play one-day cricket, India will always have a chance. You look at the batting, they have a strong line-up. Moreover, ODIs are a lot easier than Test cricket so bowlers will also do well. I’ve earlier said also this is the best possible team at the moment.”
Prediction: India may repeat history winning over Pakistan but never underestimate Misbah, who is battered to bring home the glory of winning over India, if not the Cup itself this time.
INDIA: MS Dhoni (capt, wk), S Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, V Kohli, A Rahane, S Raina, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, M Shami.
Pakistan: Ahmed Shehzad, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Irfan.