It does not get any bigger than this! The most anticipated match of the ICC World T20 2016 has arrived, with hosts India taking on the arch-rivals Pakistan in a high-voltage clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. A lot of drama preceded the match, as the Pakistan team’s participation in the tournament was put on hold by their interior ministry. Further, once their participation was confirmed, the venue had to be shifted from Dharamsala to Kolkata due to security reasons. But with the match finally happening now, millions of fans across the globe can take a sigh of relief.

Ahead of every India-Pakistan World Cup game, their history in the World Cups invariably becomes the point of discussion. With India winning all the 10 games played between the two sides in World Cups since 1992 (six 50-over World Cup and four World T20 games), the record becomes a topic of debate between the fans. Even the broadcasters exploit this fact to the optimum use, with campaigns like Mauka-Mauka’ and its various rip-offs doing the rounds ahead of the match. All-in-all, the match becomes a pressure game both for the teams as well as fans.

Going into the match, Pakistan, like always, will feel the heat of the crunch match. They tend to carry the baggage of never beating India in the World Cups, something that plays on their minds and affects their game. On the other hand, despite winning all the previous World Cup encounters, the pressure will also be on India this time around, of keeping their record intact. Moreover, having lost the first game against New Zealand, they will be desperate for a win and that can become a bit of a problem. Pakistan, who won their first game against Bangladesh, will be in a much relaxed state in comparison to their opponents.

Skill wise, both the teams are loaded with a host of match-winners. If Pakistan have their mercurial leader Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Amir, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez in their ranks, India have the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, skipper MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin to tackle them. Traditionally, an India-Pakistan match has been a contest between India’s batting and Pakistan’s bowling. This time will be no different. The duels between Amir and Rohit, Amir and Kohli, Mohammad Irfan and Shikhar Dhawan, Afridi and Dhoni and Wahab Riaz and Yuvraj Singh will be on display. In the end, the outcome of the match will be determined by the fact which team handles the nerves well. The team that manages to play with a calm mind and apply themselves well will come out winner in the match.

Here is a comparison of probable XI of both the sides.

Designed by Jyoti Desale
Designed by Jyoti Desale

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)