The most awaited cricketing encounter of the year is upon us as India and Pakistan battle each other in their opening game in Edgbaston, Birmingham in the group stage of Champions Trophy, 2017.
The stakes in an Indo-Pak match are always high as it is the second longest rivalry in the world of cricket following The Ashes. People of India are divided by states but if there’s one thing which Unites them, cricket is that thing. The one day where the patriotism is sky-high is when India play Pakistan especially in an ICC Trophy.
The Indo-Pak battle is marked with Pride of the two nations, getting the better of the other nation, a zeal to defeat the other nation no matter what it takes. The rivalry has given us many of the best incidents we’ve ever witnessed in the game of cricket, I mean, who can even forget the First over Hat trick taken by Irfan Pathan?
Who can ever forget Harbhajan Singh hitting Shoaib Akhtar for a six to seal the game for India in 2010 Asia Cup? Sachin Tendulkar’s six over point in 2003 world cup, Shahid Afridi hitting Ashwin for two consecutive sixes in the last over?
The on-field spats among the players including those of Gautam Gambhir vs Kamran Akmal, Ishant Sharma vs Kamran Akmal, Gautam Gambhir vs Shahid Afridi. The Indo-Pak game is always jam-packed with excitement, sledging, mutual respect, hostile fans, sense of superiority etc.
Coming on to the upcoming match, on June 4, it will be the opening encounter of both the teams and 4th match of the champions trophy featuring these two teams.
The match will be held at Edgbaston, Birmingham, where the match between Australia and New Zealand was abandoned due to rain and in India vs Pakistan too, there’s a 60% chance of rain which is more or less like an orgasm-killer for the Indian and Pakistani cricket fans.
India will be walking in as the favourites to win the match because of their dominance in the world of cricket. Their weaker link, bowling, has stepped up in the last 2-3 years and showed the glimpse of it in the two warm up matches, bowling Bangladesh out for 84 and New Zealand out for 189, but Pakistan are known as the most unpredictable team for a reason as they’ve had their moments in the last 2-3 years in spite of being not as dominant as they used to be.
Their bowling is a weapon of mass destruction and they have history against Indian batsmen. Junaid Khan has troubled Virat Kohli, Mohammad Amir has troubled Rohit Sharma. So, for everyone, it’ll be a battle with an unpredictable outcome, the one whole world is waiting for.
Even the other cricketers have had their fair share of say regarding their friendship with the Indian cricketers. Two of them are the long-term nemesis, Shahid Afridi and Gautam Gambhir. Here’s what they had to say:
“Umar unki 28 saal kyu na hojaye, dimag unka 16 saal se bada hota hi nahi hai,” said Gambhir. (Even if his age is 28 his brain will always be that of a 16-year-old). The former Indian opener meant that no matter what the age of his Pakistani counterpart is, he will always behave like a 16-year-old.
“We (him and Gautam Gambhir) are unlikely to be found together at a coffee shop anytime soon. We had a heated exchange on the field some years ago and it made headlines all over the world. While I have moved on in life as I feel these things are part and parcel of the game, Gautam for some reason can’t get over it. Good luck to him!” wrote Afridi.
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