As always, almost every eye in the subcontinent will be glued to the television sets when India open their ICC Champions Trophy campaign against Pakistan at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on June 4.
Keeping in mind its high profile, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has also scheduled the match on a Sunday.
Though India have had the upper hand in World Cups (20 and 50 overs), having beaten Pakistan every time in the 11 matches they have met, the Champions Trophy has been a different story.
Pakistan lead India 2-1 in head-to-head in the 50-over showpiece event with the first two games going in their favour.
The first time the two teams met in the Champions Trophy was in 2004 when India lost by three wickets in the group phase, in a match that was also played at Edgbaston. Five years down the line, Pakistan again catapulted to victory by defeating India by 54 runs at SuperSport Park in Centurion.
However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side came out on top the last time around when India beat their arch rivals by eight wickets at Edgbaston in what was a rain curtailed game.
On being queried by HT on how the June 4 game will turn out to be, India’s 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev, who was unveiling his own Madame Tussauds wax statue, said, “Whichever team plays well on that given day will win. However, India look far better on paper.”
The excitement around the game is also high because of the bare minimum sporting relations between the two nations.
Asked about the same, the former all-rounder said, “We should leave it to the government and not talk about all this. Sports persons want to play but the government policy comes first. Whatever the government policy is, we should respect that.”