Toss: Pakistan won the toss and chose to field first.
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai, UAE
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney & Marais Erasmus
What Actually Happened
Winner: Pakistan won by 10 wickets
Scores: India 151/7 – Pakistan 152/0
Player of the Match: Shaheeen Shah Afridi 3/31
Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-0-31-3)
Virat Kohli 57 (49)
Mohammad Rizwan 79* (55), Babar Azam 68* (52)
Moments of The Day: A Day To Remember for Pakistan’s Stars
Shaheen Shah Afridi you beauty! What a memorable spell. LBW to Rohit Sharma, ball of the tournament through the gates of KL Rahul, and finally Virat Kohli.
Virat Kohli‘s strike rate might be low on paper, but he did what was necessary. Absorbed the pressure, stemmed the flow of wickets, and took India to a decent total. Just could not accelerate towards the end.
Babar Azam-Mohammad Rizwan What do I even say? They have a 50+ T20I batting partnership average and for good reason. They bat and bat and bat and bat….152* (107) absolutely brilliant partnership that. If you want to understand the mental strength of Rizwan, just look at the video below.
Tweet of the Day
This is a brilliant piece of work. If you had to look at one piece of cricket content this week, look at the video below. Rizwan is the greatest.
Broken Cricket Dream of the Day: World Cup Record 12-1
After numerous ODI World Cups and T20I, Pakistan have finally won the battle. 12 attempts, 1 win, Broken Dream for India’s enviable record against Pakistan in World Cups.
Also a good time to state that the IPL (with 10 teams) cannot be considered the world’s if it does not have players like Shaheen, Babar, and Rizwan.
With India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan in this group already set, this is a mini Asia Cup battle. In the preliminary qualification round, if Sri Lanka is ranked 2 in Group A and if Bangladesh tops Group B, we might see a potential 5/6 Asian teams!
This might not be named the Group of Death from the outside, but I think this group will be closer than it appears. Here is our team-by-team analysis—Most Balanced, Surprise Exclusions, In-Form Inclusions and Predictions!
Prediction:Rank 3rd in Group 2. In spin conditions, if their batters can put up a decent score, expect Afghanistan to surprise a few of the big teams.
Does Afghanistan Have It In Them To Win the T20 World Cup?
Another World Cup. Another captaincy change right before the World Cup for Afghanistan. Rashid Khan had received the captaincy baton from Asghar Afghan, but he has resigned on the eve on the World Cup since he was not consulted for the WC squad. Add to that the current political situation, and Afghanistan’s entry in the WC is not even guaranteed.
Iconic trio Hamid Hassan, Mohammad Shahzad, and Shapoor Zadran return after years of international hiatus. Fitness will be the key concern, but Afghanistan have a good mix of youth and experience. They are also guaranteed 5 games in the main draw.
Unlucky to Miss Out: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur (reserves), Washington Sundar (injured), Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Natarajan, Khaleel Ahmed, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik. If you want the list of all 75 players which form Indian cricket team’s depth, read this.
Surprise Inclusions: R Ashwin, Varun Chakravarthy, MS Dhoni (Mentor)
Watch Out For: Trial by Spin—Rahul Chahar, R Ashwin, & Varun Chakravarthy can single handedly bamboozle most batting lineups. With Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel providing control, India might not have to chase large targets. Expect Ashwin in powerplays, Chahar-Jadeja in middle overs, and if he plays, Varun at the death.
Prediction:Rank 2nd in Group 2. Since this side has not played together, India might drop a game or two till they figure out their best XI, but should find momentum towards the latter stages of the tournament.
Does India Have It In Them To Win the T20 World Cup?
A well balanced side overall. Selectors have finally picked IPL as the standard for T20I selection and separated it from ODI players. IPL dynasty Mumbai Indians have six players in this 15.
Shikhar Dhawan was the highest scorer for India in both the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka and has been at the top of the charts (with decent SR) in the last two IPLs, but has still not made the cut. Bold move to cut Chahal but Chahar is the in-form leg spinner.
India have punted on spinning conditions and hence, exposed their fast bowling. Too much responsibility on Bumrah? Will we see a Sharma-Kohli opening partnership? Can India finally add an ICC Trophy after a decade of semi-finals and runner-ups trophy?
New Zealand T20 World Cup Squad
Spin Bowling All-Rounders
Medium Pace All-Rounders
Group 1 2021 T20 World Cup Squads: New Zealand
New Zealand Probable XI
Tim Seifert (WK), 2. Martin Guptill, 3. Kane Williamson (C), 4. Devon Conway, 5. Glenn Phillips, 6. Jimmy Neesham, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Lockie Ferguson, 10. Ish Sodhi, 11. Trent Boult
Average Age: 30
Unlucky to Miss Out: Colin de Grandhomme, Will Young, Finn Allen, Tom Blundell, Henry Nicholls/Tom Latham/Ross Taylor, Doug Bracewell/Hamish Bennett/Jacob Duffy/Blair Tickner, Ajaz Patel
Surprise Inclusions: Mark Chapman, Todd Astle
Watch Out For:Lockie Ferguson & Devon Conway. Ferguson’s KKR experience in UAE might come in handy and can Conway continue his dream debut year?
Prediction:Rank 4th in Group 2. Although a great team on paper, going against 3-5 Asian sides in UAE will just not be an easy task.
Does New Zealand Have It In Them To Win the T20 World Cup?
Interesting team selection this based on condition and form. Glenn Phillips-Conway-Seifert had solidifed their positions with a rich run of form last year. This meant that Will Young and Finn Allen could not break in the squad despite great T20I performances toward the end. Great depth in New Zealand cricket means several players had to miss out.
Colin de Grandhomme is the interestesting exclusion for me. If fit, he could have been devastating but Mitchell-Neesham-Santner-Jamieson have booked their tickets with a coule of good performances earlier in the year. Adam Milne unlucky to just be in the reserves because he is been on fire in the Big Bash and The hundred since his comeback. End of T20Is for Ross Taylor.
Pakistan T20 World Cup Squad
Spin Bowling All-Rounders
Medium Pace All-Rounders
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Group 1 2021 T20 World Cup Squads: Pakistan
Pakistan Probable XI
Babar Azam (C), 2. Mohammad Rizwan, 3. Mohammad Hafeez, 4. Sohaib Maqsood, 5. Imad Wasim, 6. Azam Khan/Khushdil Shah/Asif Ali, 7. Shadab Khan, 8. Hasan Ali, 9. Mohammad Nawaz, 10. Haris Rauf, 11. Shaheen Shah Afridi
Average Age: 27
Unlucky to Miss Out: Fakhar Zaman, Usman Qadir (Reserves), Iftikhar Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Faheem Ashraf, Haider Ali, Sharjeel Khan, Imam-ul-Haq, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan Shinwari, Sohail Tanvir, Wahab Riaz, Misbah-ul-Haq, Waqar Younis (Coach)
Prediction:Rank 1 in Group 2. Should get through the group with ease before collapsing in the semi-finals.
Does Pakistan Have It In Them To Win the T20 World Cup?
Pakistan have opted for a young squad dropping all of Shoaib Malik, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfaraz, and Wahab Riaz. If the lower order of Imad Wasim-Shadab-Hasan Ali can consistently score some quick runs, Pakistan will be in good shape.
The top 4 do not have competition from others in the squad, so expect Babar-Rizwan-Hafeez-Maqsood to play with freedom. Shaheen Shah Afridi-Haris Rauf-Nawaz-Hasan Ali-Shadab-Imad-Hafeez make a potent bowling line up as well. Would have liked Zaman, Qadir, Faheem Ashraf, and one of the seniors in the 15 but overall, the squad is pretty solid nevertheless.