In the highly anticipated World Cup 2023 clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, several key matchups could play a crucial role in determining the outcome.

Let’s delve into four pivotal battles that are set to unfold on the grand stage of the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

Rohit Sharma vs Shaheen Shah Afridi

India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, has faced challenges from Shaheen Shah Afridi’s menacing left-arm pace in recent encounters. Shaheen got the better of Rohit during their Asia Cup face-off, exploiting the opener’s vulnerability to lack of footwork. The rivalry ignited at the 2021 T20 World Cup, where Shaheen dismissed Rohit for a duck in the opening over, displaying his lethal combination of speed and swing. Rohit, however, returned with caution in their subsequent meeting in Colombo, showcasing resilience while still managing to keep the bowler on his toes.

Virat Kohli vs Haris Rauf

A high-stakes encounter between India and Pakistan unfolded when Virat Kohli squared off against Haris Rauf during a tense chase at the T20 World Cup in Melbourne last year. With India needing 31 runs off the last 18 balls, Kohli exhibited nerves of steel, smashing Rauf for two crucial sixes, sending the MCG crowd into a frenzy. The first six was a powerful straight drive, while the next was a fine-leg flick, propelling India towards victory. This face-off promises another riveting showdown in Ahmedabad.

Source: Twitter

Babar Azam vs Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah got a taste of Babar Azam’s batting prowess during the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE. Azam took on the Indian attack, including the yorker maestro Bumrah, guiding Pakistan to an emphatic 10-wicket win in Dubai. However, two years later, Bumrah and company displayed their growth, dismissing Pakistan for 128 in a commanding 228-run triumph in an Asia Cup Super Four clash. Bumrah’s knack for beating Azam’s bat adds an intriguing layer to this contest.

Source: Twitter

Iftikhar Ahmed vs Kuldeep Yadav

Iftikhar Ahmed, a versatile middle-order batsman, demonstrated his ability to anchor or attack during the Asia Cup. However, India’s spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, thwarted Iftikhar’s innings with a sharp caught-and-bowled effort. Kuldeep’s left-arm wrist spin proved formidable, securing an impressive 5-25 in that match, propelling India to a comprehensive 228-run victory. Iftikhar’s role on Saturday will be crucial in handling the spinners and maintaining an aggressive scoring rate in the middle overs.

Source: Twitter

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