Team India will clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in an emotionally-charged atmosphere at Edgbaston, Birmingham on Sunday for their ICC Champions Trophy opener.
The match holds much importance as India has suspended cricketing ties with Pakistan several times following terrorist attacks or other hostilities between the two nations.
The cricketing rivalry between the two nations has always been exciting to watch and no matter in what form the other team is, an India-Pakistan cricket match is always a special one.
India have an all-win record against the arch-rivals in World Cups, but Pakistan hold an edge in the Champions Trophy. India have only managed to win once in their three meetings against them in the tournament.
So, keeping a calm head in the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the most sought-after encounter will be key to success for both sides led by Virat Kohli and Sarfraz Ahmed respectively.
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India have the perfect balance with 9 players from the victorious 2013 side retained. However, it will be Kohli's first big test as captain in an ICC event and India's best batsman would like to shrug off his disappointing IPL form going into the tournament.
With Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, team's batting line up is the most experienced among all the eight participating nations. The inexperienced Kedar Jadhav or the seasoned Dinesh Karthik are also good enough to win matches on their own.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya lends a good balance and for the first time, India have a four-pronged pace attack of Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah. World's premier spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are also there to stifle runs.
Pakistan, on the other hand, are an unpredictable team which has talent that often doesn't translate into performance.
But Sarfraz Ahmed's side has the ability to do well. Pakistan have had a knack of throwing up new talent. And this time, leg-spinner Shadab Khan and all-rounder Faheem Ashraf are new kids on the block. Mohammed Aamir in English conditions could be lethal in the company of Wahab Riaz.
While India are heading into the game with an emphatic 240-run win over Bangladesh, Pakistan too successfully chased down a mammoth 341-run total against the same opponents in their warm-up match.
News Nation has tied up with Lahore-based Pakistan media house '92 News channel' to do a combined coverage of the Ind-Pak clash covering the pre-match analysis, potential playing eleven and the in-depth team previews before the commencement of the match. The expert panel of 92 news channel includes Pakistan cricketers Sohail Tanvir and Yasir Khan to air their views on the high-voltage clash. Meanwhile, Nation Nation has included former Indian cricketers Maninder Singh and Amit Bhandari on their guest list to give their expert opinion on the clash.
(With inputs from PTI)