Virat Kohli's big plan and MS Dhoni's mastermind...India gets ready to face its arch-rival PAK!

The clock is ticking for the battle of arch-rivals in cricket as India will be taking on Pakistan on Sunday at 7.30 pm in the ongoing T20 World Cup tournament. In what would become one of the crucial matches of the tournament, the battle will be hosted by Dubai International Stadium. The rivals will be locking horns with India holding more advantage towards defeating the opponent based on the statistical analysis and its knowledge about the pitch. 

As this world cup will be the last for Kohli's T20 captaincy, the fans expect the team to start with the triumph by beating Pakistan, who had never defeated India in the World Cup. Significantly, it will be the first match for India against Pakistan with Dhoni as the mentor for the Men in Blue. India's dominance against Pakistan in the World Cup, excellent team, and keen knowledge of the UAE pitches make Kohli's fleet hold an edge towards victory. Arming India's potent was the last two triumphs against England and Australia in the warm-up matches of the tournament. 

As India will face a vivid opponent, Kohli's fleet must build the winning momentum right from the beginning of the match as though Pakistan is out of all the above factors, it will be coming to the battlefield with a young and talented team. Pakistan had started the T20 tournament with a win against West Indies. However, it has conceded a defeat to South Africa. As the teams are getting their weapons ready, the fans from both sides of the aisle await a huge contest between the rivals and the battle will last till the last minute. 

So far, India and Pakistan had played five matches in the T20 World Cups since 2007 and of these five, India had won all five. As Pakistan is yet to defeat India in the T20 World Cups, the current team would unleash a stupendous play to end the history. One more advantage for India is all these five matches were won under the captaincy of MS Dhoni and as he has now been standing with the team as a mentor, he would play an important role in finalizing India's strategies to defeat the arch-rival. 

On the front of T20 Internationals, India and Pakistan have played eight matches so far of which India had won six months, lost one, and the other one has tied. The last meeting between the arch-rivals took place in the 2016 World Cup at Eden Gardens in Kolkata and India tasted a victory by six wickets. As the crucial match is hours ahead to get unfolded in Dubai, the social media platforms have been filled with predictions from who would win the toss and who would win the match. Most of the predictions had declared that India would win the match against Pakistan.

Both the teams are part of Group 2 in the tournament and on Saturday, Pakistan had unveiled the 12-member squad that will play against India. In a press conference, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has announced the squad which includes two experienced hands of Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Their induction is expected to pour more weight on Pakistan's victory as their previous experience of playing against India in the World Cups will hold an advantage for the team. The 12-member squad has Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Mohammad Rizwan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Shadab Khan, Shoaib Malik, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

In the albeit of having match-winning factors, Indian skipper Virat Kohli is well aware that his side must give its best in all departments to beat the rival on Sunday's match. He said he is not thinking about his side's record against Pakistan which brings its own pressure. While addressing a news conference, Kohli said, "We never discussed it within the team - what our record is, or what we achieved in the past. They distract you. What matters is how you prepare and how you perform on that given day regardless of opposition. These things are added pressure." 

Kohli further said, "The current Pakistan team is very strong, they always have been so. They are very talented, with several players who can change the game anytime", adding that India needs to be at its very best to overcome Babar Azam's side in the T20 World Cup. He stated, "Against a team like that, you need to arrive with your best plans, and make sure you execute it well. We definitely have to bring our A-game tomorrow." "The atmosphere in the stadium is different but our mindset is no different, our preparations are no different, and our approach to the game is certainly no different", Kohli added. 

Similarly, Pakistan skipper Babar also had refused to delve into the past. As it is his first global tournament as the skipper, Babar said, "We are not focused on what happened in the past, but looking forward to what lies ahead." "It's important to start well, and make an early impact. We are excited to be here", Babar added. According to Reuters, the Pakistan team had met with Pakistan Prime Minister and former captain Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their maiden ODI World Cup title in 1992. With Kohli's big plan and Dhoni's mastermind being important driving forces in the match against Pakistan, India is all set to face its neighbouring adversary.