India vs Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy: 5 key player battles in mega-clash
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India vs Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy: 5 key player battles in mega-clash

India face arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The winner of the match will not only gain two points but will also garner enough confidence going ahead in the tournament.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 04, 2017 12:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Champions Trophy 2017,India vs Pakistan,Indian Cricket Team
Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni are three crucial players for India against Pakistan in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 clash. (AFP)

India will look to start their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 campaign on a high when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in a Group B encounter at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground on Sunday. (India vs Pakistan: Live updates) (ICC Champions Trophy 2017: IND vs PAK Live scorecard)

A look at the five key clashes that might decide the outcome of the match:

Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Amir

The rivalry between the Pakistan left-arm pacer and India will be renewed after the Pakistani earned the bragging rights following their encounters in Asia Cup and World T20. In a fiery spell at Asia Cup T20 last year, Amir got rid of Rohit, Rahane and Raina. However, he could not subdue Kohli.

Read | India vs Pakistan: We have plans in place for Virat Kohli, says Sarfraz Ahmed

Rohit Sharma vs Wahab Riaz

The Pakistan left-arm paceman has been struggling to get his rhythm going but he will be up against a batsman who is not in the best of form. Rohit is back in the Indian quad after leading Mumbai Indians to Indian Premier League title . However, the Pakistan bowler is often guilty of getting carried away and Rohit would hope he does it again.

Read | India v Pakistan: Buy radio sets to break - Virender Sehwag taunts Shoaib Akhtar

MS Dhoni vs Shadab Khan

The Pakistani leg-spinner is known for generating prodigious turn. He takes wickets and is very economical. His wrong’un is a big challenge for batsmen. It would be interesting to watch the strategy 18-year-old Shadab deploys against India’s most experienced batsman, who is an exceptional player of spin bowling.

Mohammed Shami vs Ahmad Shahzad

Whenever Pakistan have got off to a cracking start, it has been courtesy Shehzad’s aggressive batting. He would again be central to skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s plans in taking on the Indian bowlers. India pacer Shami will relish the fast Edgbaston wicket and will go full tilt. The Shami-Shahzad battle will be one to savour.

R Ashwin vs Babar Azam

Consistency is what describes Babar Azam. In his last 11 ODI innings, the 22-year-old has scored five centuries and a half-century. He became the joint fastest to get to 1000 runs. It would be interesting to see what tricks India’s premier off-spinner comes up with to trouble Babar.

First Published: Jun 04, 2017 08:43 IST