Posted in apygtmky

ICC Champions Trophy: Pakistan face Herculean task against defending champions India

first_imgIndia’s record against Pakistan off late speaks volumes of the Men in Blue’s dominance over their arch-rivals in limited-overs cricket. India have got the better of Pakistan six times in last seven encounters, including Twenty20 internationals.India’s lone defeat to their traditional rivals came in Asia Cup in 2014 when Mohammad Hafeez starred with a match-winning 75. But since that defeat, India have defeated Pakistan in four consecutive limited-overs games, including their 76-run triumph in Adelaide at the 2015 ICC World Cup. The other three have come in T20 Internationals while chasing.It has been over two years since India and Pakistan clashed in an ODI. The two teams will meet again in next month’s ICC Champions Trophy in England.Reuters PhotoLed by Virat Kohli, India start their Champions Trophy title defence against Pakistan at Edgbaston on June 4 and will look to make it 2-2 in head-to-head encounters in the elite tournament. The last time the two cricketing giants clashed at the Champions Trophy, India emerged victorious in a rain-truncated game to record their first win in three attempts.India and Pakistan have not played bilateral series since 2012-13 and have met only in ICC events.Last year, India played Pakistan twice and Kohli was the difference between the two teams on both occasions. His magnificent 49 had helped India overcome a dangerous Pakistan pace attack in Dhaka and his sublime half-century resulted in an Indian victory at the Eden Gardens in the World T20.India look a far superior side on paper and even former captain Sourav Ganguly has backed Kohli’s men to topple Pakistan. He also believes that Pakistan are no more a threat in world cricket in limited-overs format.advertisement”I firmly believe that the reason India have had the better of Pakistan over the last ten years, is that they have been a better side. They have handled situations better. The last Pakistan team that competed, which actually could have given India sleepless nights was the 2003 team with Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Saeed Anwar and Inzamam. They were a remarkable side, but since then Pakistan haven’t been the best side in the world,” Ganguly told India Today.Interestingly, when India lost to Pakistan in 2014, Kohli was the stand-in skipper in absence of MS Dhoni, who opted out of the tournament. Kohli is now the full time skipper after replacing Dhoni in January and his first big hurdle will be to avenge the Asia Cup defeat.Kohli has come a long way and is one of the best batsman in the world currently. His captaincy was tested in the long home Test season where India won 10 out of 13 Tests. He then tasted ODI and T20I series victories against England in January.Reuters PhotoSince the last Champions Trophy, Indian cricket has withstood certain transitions and has come out stronger. India had reached the final of the 2014 World T20, went as far as the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 World T20.The likes of Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan (not that they were part of the Champions Trophy squad) retired from international cricket and MS Dhoni stepped down as the limited-overs captain. Under coach Anil Kumble, India have been virtually invincible. Besides the five successive Test series wins, India have also dominated New Zealand and England in the limited-overs formats.Pakistan on the other hand, will be without the services of Shahid Afridi, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, who have all retired from the game. They have a set of talented young cricketers in the set-up but it remains to be seen if they can challenge a rampant India, who are high on the confidence of their recent records and wear the aggression of their ruthless leader, who wants to win at costs.INDIA’S RECORD IN LIMITED-OVERS VS PAKISTAN SINCE 2012:ODIsJanuary 6 2013 – India beat Pakistan by 6 runsJune 15, 2013 – India beat Pakistan by 8 wicketsMarch 2, 2014 – Pakistan beat India by 1 wicketFebruary 15, 2015 – India beat Pakistan by 76 runsT20sMarch 21, 2014 – India beat Pakistan 7 wicketsFebruary 27, 2016 – India beat Pakistan by 5 wicketsMarch 19, 2016 – India beat Pakistan by 6 wicketslast_img read more

Continue Reading... ICC Champions Trophy: Pakistan face Herculean task against defending champions India