World Cup stage. India vs Pakistan. One more time.
16 June, 2019 is when India will take on Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The current form of the team and the past record tilt the odds in India's favour. However, it is an unwritten rule that when the two teams meet each other at a world stage, current forms of the two sides take a back seat. Win or loss is more dependent on the handling of nerves and pressure between the 22 yards.
Both teams have met each other on 6 occasions in a ICC World Cup and India have been the victorious side every time. Yet the record does not guarantee India a straightforward win.
Pakistan have played three matches so far, winning one and losing two. They started off in the worst way possible, getting bowled out for a mere 105 before Windies chased the target down in just 14th over, with seven wickets in hand. A few days later, a different Pakistan turned up at Nottingham to beat the favourites England by 14 runs. Their campaign yet again received a hit when they were defeated by Australia on 12 June by 41 runs.
India, on the other hand, have been beating sides convincingly so far. They started their run with an emphatic six-wicket win over South Africa before beating Australia by 36 runs in their second World Cup match. Their third encounter against New Zealand was washed out. The Pakistan match is an opportunity to not only continue their winning run against the arch-rivals but make sure the World Cup campaign is also not off track.
Not to forget, after the Pulwama attack, there were dark clouds over the match with some Indian sentiments asking BCCI to not play the marquee encounter. But thankfully the governments on both sides did not have any issue with two national cricket teams taking on each other, letting a cricket match be a cricket match, and not war. So, come 16 June, we have a match in our hands. India versus Pakistan. Everyone's invited.
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