India and Pakistan will clash with one another in the 12th match of the ongoing ICC ODI World Cup 2023. The high-voltage encounter will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 14, 2023.

India holds a massive 7-0 lead over Pakistan in ODI World Cup matches. India has defeated Pakistan every time they have clashed right from 1992 to 2019. India has defeated Australia and Afghanistan in their first two matches in the ongoing ICC World Cup 2023.

Pakistan, on the other hand, defeated the Netherlands and Sri Lanka in their first two encounters in the ongoing ICC tournaments. Ahmedabad is the home ground for Shubman Gill, Mohammad Shami, and Hardik Pandya in the Indian Premier League, and other players have played enough games from Men in Blue to know how the surface behaves. 

The most important thing in this will be which players will make their mark in the match. India has a terrific batting lineup and amazing bowlers. Pakistan prides itself on their pacers and has the no.1 ranked ODI batter in Babar Azam. 

Here are three player battles to watch out for in the India versus Pakistan match:

1. Kuldeep Yadav vs Babar Azam

Kuldeep Yadav and Babar Azam
Kuldeep Yadav and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Babar Azam has not been in good form since the Asia Cup, therefore playing against India in India would be the ideal setting for him to regain his form. He would, however, be competing with Kuldeep Yadav, his archenemy.

Kuldeep has been successful in defeating the Indian spinner twice despite Babar only having faced him four times. Babar’s dismissal in the 2019 World Cup by Kuldeep is still part of many highlight reels. Kuldeep is a strong favourite to dismiss Babar again because, the previous time he bowled against Pakistan, he even took a five-wicket haul in Asia Cup 2023. 

2. Shaheen Afridi vs Rohit Sharma

Shaheen-Afridi-vs-Rohit-Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Shaheen Afridi had sent Rohit Sharma’s off-stump cartwheeling when India and Pakistan met in Pallekele in the Asia Cup. But in their next meeting in Colombo, Rohit became the first batter to hit Shaheen for a six in the first over of the match. And this time as well, their battle will decide which team has the momentum.

The right-hander has previously struggled against left-arm pacers, but after reaching his 31st ODI century against Afghanistan in New Delhi, he will enter the match with plenty of confidence.

On Saturday, Babar Azam and the company will be hoping that Afridi will send Sharma back to the pavilion early to give their innings an early push. Afridi has been off-colour in the two matches, having picked 2 wickets at an average of 51.50 and an economy of 6.43. His pace has also been under 140 most of the time. 

3. Virat Kohli vs Haris Rauf

Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf
Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf. (Photo Source: Twitter and Getty Images)

The biggest battle in the India v Pakistan match will be between Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf. Rauf would want to avenge the T20 World Cup 2022 hammering he got on the last two balls of the 19th over from Kohli, which went for sixes. Rauf has picked 5 wickets so far in two matches.

On the other hand, Virat Kohli has two half-centuries in two matches and is high on confidence. Kohli has internal help concerning the Ahmedabad pitch thanks to Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, and Mohammed Shami. Haris Rauf would have to be at his best to dismiss the legendary India batter.

Also check: Most runs in ODI World Cup 2023

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