India Vs Pakistan: India, Pakistan look to conquer new shores in biggest clash of T20 World Cup | Cricket News

NEW YORK: When the ball jumped up from a length and hit captain Rohit Sharma‘s thumb during a training session, there was suddenly a sense of apprehension that a beautiful day can turn stormy. But it only proved to be a strong gust – a regular feature along the Long Island coast – as the Indian captain started batting again, preparing for the storm ahead.After all, Pakistan lie in wait on Sunday.
It’s the match that cricket in this part of the world has been desperately waiting for. And just the way a lot is riding on it for the promotion of the sport itself in the United States, both teams’ fates are hanging in the balance as well.
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For India, a defeat would mean a very difficult next few days in which they will have to ensure everything falls into place. That includes the weather, because a wash-out may also lead to an early ouster. As far as Pakistan are concerned, it’s a point of no return after the shock loss to hosts US in Dallas the other day.
The Pakistan team had a charity dinner planned for which tables had already been booked in New York, but that was scrapped following the backlash of defeat at home. The team is in a terrible space, with nothing going right for them. India are probably the last team they would like to play in a situation like this.
Add to that the familiarity factor that they are sorely lacking for New York conditions. The new pitches here have undulations, making the ball skid. There’s excessive movement of the white ball due to the early starts. India have been here for the last two weeks, battling their way to familiarity, but for Pakistan, it’s truly virgin territory. They landed on Thursday night, took Friday off, and had a rigorous session on Saturday, hoping that they could make a game of it.


It’s not the best-case scenario when the toss becomes so important in the final outcome of the game. But that’s what it is at the Nassau International County Ground for now, where batting is extremely difficult in the first few overs.
India have a fine batting lineup that has prepared hard for difficult circumstances like these, but the Pakistan pace quartet of Shaheen Afridi, Mohammed Amir, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah may just become deadly if they can get to make first use of the wicket.
As for India, Jasprit Bumrah is deadly on any surface, and if he bowls four overs full steam on this pitch in the morning session, the game could be over then and there.


On a track like this, having more meat in the batting department is important and Shivam Dube’s batting form hasn’t been up to scratch. While he struggled in the practice game against Bangladesh, the southpaw didn’t get time to get into the groove against Ireland in the opener.
The team management spent a lot of time on his batting in the two days of practice ahead of the game.
While he got a shortish stint on Friday, the Saturday practice was all about Dube. He was the only player among the 15 who turned up and worked on his technique against the short ball, batting coach Vikram Rathour giving him some serious batting tips.
There is a ready-made replacement available in Yashasvi Jaiswal and he, too, got an intense batting practice session on Friday.


Amid all these, for the fans coming in from near and far including the new ones who are looking to get a first feel of cricket, the hope will be to experience ‘a contest’. Both the flags will flutter in the morning breeze as neighbours, who have turned many a foreign field into great cricket venues with their intense rivalry, will look to conquer new shores.


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