The stage is already set for one more cricketing extravaganza scheduled to start in mid-October. The ICC T20 World Cup cricket scheduled in Australia next month will experience all the cricket-playing nations competing with each other to lift up the coveted trophy. The games will start on 16th October and the final on 13th November. India is going to play its first match in this tournament against Pakistan on 23rd October at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“India v Pakistan is one of the biggest games in all sport, no doubt. The nature of those two countries doing battle creates such a feverish atmosphere”, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen during Asia Cup.
With less than a month remaining for the ICC T20 World Cup tournament to begin, tickets for the highly-awaited high-voltage match between India and Pakistan have already been sold out. More than 500,000 fans have already bought their tickets to attend this showpiece match in Melbourne, Australia. The hugely-anticipated face-off between the arch-rivals, to be held at the MCG on October 23, which is a Sunday, has already sold out all tickets, with extra standing-room tickets flying off the shelf within minutes of starting the sale. The T20 World Cup betting site Betway has Australia as the tight favorites, closely followed by India and England.
According to the ICC, fans from across 82 countries have bought tickets to witness the world’s best cricket players from 16 international squads, which marks the coming back of full-house stadiums at ICC tournaments for the first time after 2020 during the Women’s T20 World Cup, which climaxed with 86,174 fans attending the final match at the MCG.
Now, the burning question is whether India can beat Pakistan in this face-off.
Well, according to former Pakistan Shoaib Akhtar, Pakistan will find it hard to beat India in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. The Rawalpindi Express said that though Pakistan beat India by 10 wickets in the T20 World Cup 2021, challenging them will not at all be easy this time.
Particularly, when the two teams faced off last year in October, Pakistan led by Babar Azam managed to thrash the Indian Men in Blue at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, by 10 wickets. After limiting India to just 151 runs with 7 wickets down, Babar and opening partner Mohammad Rizwan chased down the target score with more than 2 overs extra, as Pakistan won the match by 10 wickets.
As per Shoaib Akhtar, “India cannot go about and select a random team against Pakistan without defining their roles. I think the management should select the team carefully, and I fully believe it will be a solid team. It won’t be a walkover for Pakistan this time around. …If India pick the right squad for the tournament, then they have a very good chance of beating Pakistan. They are absolutely even teams at the moment, so it is very difficult to predict a result”.
The match is all set to be played at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground, which is often hailed as the fast bowler’s delight. The cricket pitch at the MCG is said to offer pace and bounce, which is the reason why Akhtar feels that if Pakistan wins the toss, they should choose to go bowling first.