2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group 2: India eye recovery against rivals Pakistan
Simon Sinclair | March 18, 2016
India v Pakistan
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 19
- Saturday, March 19th
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- Eden Gardens, Kolkata
- Live on Sky Sports 2
India aim to bounce back against Pakistan
India were on the receiving end of a stunning defeat in their opening match of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 against New Zealand.
MS Dhoni’s men would have believed they were on their way to cruising to victory after limiting the Black Caps to 126 from their 20 overs.
However, the host nation collapsed to 79 all out as New Zealand claimed a 47-run win, leaving India in dire need of a response with odds of 1/2 to beat their fierce rivals.
Sharma to rise to the occasion
There are few events in professional sport that brings passion out in players and supporters, but this fixture will be guaranteed to be fiery affair.
Sharma put in an underwhelming display in the defeat to the Black Caps, scoring just five runs before he was stumped off the bowling of Mitchell Santner.
The 28-year-old has been in excellent form in the 50-over format after scoring two big hundreds against Australia in January, while he also has struck two double centuries in ODIs.
He has failed to translate his form into T20, but has the talent to be destructive with the showdown against Pakistan the perfect time to deliver his best.
At odds of 11/4 Sharma is an intriguing option to lead the run column for Dhoni’s men at Eden Gardens, while there is a 9/2 price for the 28-year-old guiding his side to victory.
Dhoni’s experience key for India
The skipper was one of the few players to perform well in the defeat to New Zealand, scoring a futile 30 as wickets went down around him.
Dhoni has proven in the past to be a match-winner for his country and will be eager to fire in one of their biggest matches of the tournament.
He has a good record against Pakistan in 50-over cricket, boasting an average of 58.38 with two centuries, so an outside punt of 12/1 could be profitable.
Bumrah to continue solid start
Jasprit Bumrah has enjoyed a bright start to his international T20 career, taking 16 wickets in his 12 matches for Dhoni’s men.
The 22-year-old performed well on his debut in the World Twenty20 as he claimed figures of 1/15 from his four overs, keeping the Black Caps under pressure with 13 dot balls.
He will be expected to perform to the same standard again in Kolkata and due to his inexperience will likely be targeted by the Pakistan batsmen.
As a result, Bumrah could rack up the wickets and odds of 7/2 make him an intriguing option to take in the crucial showdown.
Afridi to inspire Pakistan victory?
Shahid Afridi demonstrated his brilliance in his side’s convincing victory over Bangladesh, firing 49 runs off just 19 deliveries.
The 36-year-old has a surprisingly poor record in international T20s with only four fifties to his name in 87 innings, while his average is a paltry 18.18.
He has failed to fire in his limited playing time against India, but he has the quality to produce a blistering display out of nothing, especially on the big stage.
Afridi’s record with the ball is remarkable better than his performances with the bat, taking 95 scalps in his 95 matches at a good average.
A double bet on bat and ball could be an enticing option at 10/1 to be Pakistan’s top scorer, while he has odds of 7/2 to notch up the wickets in Kolkata.
Pakistan look to Amir to make statement
No player owes Pakistan a performance on the big stage more than Mohammad Amir following his return from a five-year ban from spot fixing.
The 23-year-old robbed his country of his services for his indiscretion and stalled his promising career, but now has the opportunity to announce his return with a match-winning display against their great rivals.
Amir has impressed during his 26 T20 matches at international level, taking 33 wickets at an impressive average of 20.15.
He put in a solid display in his side’s opening win over Bangladesh, but has plenty more to offer Pakistan and with odds of 11/4 has the opportunity to put India in deep trouble on home soil.
Coral’s top tip: Rohit Sharma top batsman and India win at 9/2.