India and Pakistan collide in Adelaide

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Most of Sydney is in Adelaide as the cricket match between India and Pakistan starts. It is tipped to be the most watched match in the world. There is excitement and people from rest of the country have all congregated in Adelaide to witness ICC World Cup Cricket match between India and Pakistan with fever running pitch high. Tickets of this match were sold in barely 20 minutes of it being announced.

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Cricket fans from India have been arriving from all over the world including India and Pakistan days ahead yet the last minute ones booked on an Air India flight to catch this India-Pakistan World Cup match were left in the lurch after cabin shortage kept the Dreamliner at IGI Airport some eight hours past departure time. Violent clashes broke out as it became clear that the flight, set to reach Sydney at 6.40am (Australia time), ahead of the 2pm match, would not make it.

Air India is the only airline, Indian or foreign, to operate a direct flight from India to Australia and cricket fans on way to Adelaide made up the bulk of the flyers on Saturday’s 12-hour flight.

A spokesperson said that even if the flight reaches Australia in time for the match the passengers may not be able to make it in time having missed connecting flights.

Adelaide Oval is like a carnival with dhol beats and with fans from India and Pakistan shouting ”˜jeetega’ for their respective countries with stands draped in orange, green and white on one side where as the fans are furling green and white flags on the other side and tension that can be seen and felt all over the oval.

India has gone in to bat after winning the toss. emotions are running high  with  both nation’s billion plus people coming to a total standstill and watch this much hyped one day match. TV channel ads are running at sky high prices ranging each slot from 18 lakh to 25 lakh rupees. Adelaide is also host to Amitabh Bachchan who has come to give live commentary along with Kapil Dev.

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India’s key players

Virat Kohli: India’s top-ranked ODI batsman and a genuine superstar. Kohli was in brilliant Test form for India during the 2014-15 summer, scoring 115, 141, 19, 1, 169, 54, 147 and 46 in four Tests, but he has struggled with the bat since in the one-day format. His Carlton-Mid ODI tri-series yielded scores of 9, 4, 3 not out and 8 and his warm-up innings 18 and 5.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Kumar can swing the ball prodigiously both ways and just as importantly has a good record against Pakistan.

Rohit Sharma: Sharma provides that much sought-after X-factor to India’s batting line-up. The two-time ODI double-century maker has proven he is capable of scoring plenty of runs quickly and a big innings from Sharma could put Pakistan out of the match.

MS Dhoni: Of the current India team Dhoni has the best record against Pakistan, having scored two centuries and nine fifties through his career. The captain remains in the Top 10 ODI batsmen but has struggled to find runs during the Australian summer, so will be looking for a return to form.

Pakistan’s key players

Shahid Afridi: A former Pakistan captain, Afridi still retains the capacity to take an attack apart, having smashed 67 off 29 balls against New Zealand earlier this month. With neither Saeed Ajmal nor Mohammed Hafeez participate in this World Cup, Afridi will also shoulder the responsibility of being his side’s main spin option.

Ahmed Shehzad: Pakistan will likely need a big score if they want to defeat India and opener Shehzad, one of two Pakistan batsmen in the ICC ODI top 20, will need to fire. He scored a century against New Zealand in December and a fifty in January.

Misbah-ul-Haq: Pakistan’s current top-ranked ODI batsman, the captain will need to lead from the front to secure his team’s first World Cup win over India. He has been in good form during the last couple of months, scoring a Test century against New Zealand and following up with scores in 107, 88 not out, 58 and 45 on New Zealand soil in January.

Mohammad Irfan: The seven-foot tall Mohammad Irfan will be leading Pakistan’s bowling attack after injuries ruled out more experienced players. His height helped him achieve plenty of bounce and his left-arm bowling also creates problems for batsmen.


Teams :

India:  Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt, wk), Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Axar Patel, Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Pakistan:  Ahmed Shehzad, Nasir Jamshed, Younus Khan, Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Sohaib Maqsood, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Shahid Afridi, Haris Sohail, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan.

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