T20 World Cup 2021, India vs Pakistan: Five Player Battles To Watch Out For

India will take on Pakistan in match 16 of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday. India will look to maintain their unbeaten World Cup record against their arch-rivals. The Virat Kohli-led side has been in fantastic form, having beaten England and Australia in the warm-up games. Pakistan, on the other hand, convincingly won their first practice game against the West Indies before being beaten by South Africa in their second warm-up game.

Here are five key player battles that might decide the outcome of the game:

KL Rahul vs Shaheen Shah Afridi

KL Rahul is arguably at the peak of his career, having scored runs across the globe over the past two years or so. However, he faces a stiff challenge batting against pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is a tough nut to crack, especially during the powerplays.

Rahul was on fire during the warm-up games, scoring freely in the powerplays. Hence, Afridi’s role with the new ball will be crucial.

Virat Kohli vs Shadab Khan

Another intriguing battle which could go a long way in deciding the outcome of the game will be between Virat Kohli and Pakistan leggie Shadab Khan. It is no secret that Kohli has a slight weakness against leg spinners.

However, Kohli could come up with the goods as he enjoys batting against Pakistan in white-ball cricket. In six T20Is against Pakistan, the 32-year-old has piled up 254 runs at an average of 84.

Jasprit Bumrah vs Babar Azam

Babar Azam will look to anchor Pakistan’s innings at the top of the order. He, however, faces a daunting prospect in the form of Jasprit Bumrah, who could target him during the powerplay overs with his toe-crushing yorkers.

However, Bumrah hasn’t enjoyed much success against Pakistan, taking just one wicket in four matches (3 ODIs and 1 T20I. He will surely be looking to better that record against Babar and co. this time around.

Mohammed Shami vs Mohammad Rizwan

India will heavily rely on Mohammed Shami to deliver the goods with the ball against Pakistan. The right-arm pacer has been in fine form and took three wickets against England in the first warm-up game.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Rizwan has been a breath of fresh air for Pakistan at the top of the order. In fact, he is the leading run-scorer in T20Is this year, having scored 752 runs at an average of 40.

Ravindra Jadeja vs Mohammad Hafeez


Fresh from his exploits in the recently-concluded IPL 2021, Ravindra Jadeja will be a man on a mission when India kick off their T20 World Cup 2021 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Similarly, Mohammad Hafeez, 41, will also aim to make the most of his experience in what could be his last appearance at a major ICC event.

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