Welcome to live coverage of T20 World Cup Super 12 match between India vs Pakistan at the MCG. First ball: 7pm AEDT.
India vs Pakistan: the hottest ticket in town, so much so that the MCG was sold out in just 30 minutes.
Tonight these two proud cricket nations clash in Melbourne, with the fortunes of the respective sides resting on two of the modern day great batters — India’s Virat Kohli and Pakistan’s Babar Azam.
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When the two nations met last year, Pakistan shocked India in the most dramatic way as Mohammad Rizwan (79 not out) and Azam (68 of 52) led their nation to a massive 10-wicket win after chasing down 7-151 after just 17.5 overs.
The victory, however, was set up by Shaheen Shah Afridi who took 3-31 and dismissed both of India’s openers from his opening seven balls before late removing Kohli.
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Pakistan made the semi-finals before some Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis brilliance saw Australia knock them out, while India failed to make the knockout stage.
Both nations are considered strong contenders to lift the World Cup while India enter the tournament as Ricky Ponting’s pick to make it to the final.
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Ponting nominated Suryakumar Yadav as his World Cup breakout star, with the experienced batter now a mainstay in India’s short-form team.
India leads the World Cup head-to-head 12-1 over Pakistan and Indian great Sunil Gavaskar believes it’s down to his nation being able to “absorb the pressure a lot better”.
“It will not be the catastrophe (for India) that seems to be case when a Pakistan team loses to India,” he told the ABC.
Pakistan have a consistent side and will once again open with Azam and Rizwan.
The MCG is expected to be full after selling out inside an hour while fans are hoping the rain stays away.
The sun was shining bright over the stadium roughly two hours before the first ball in a promising sign.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami.
Standby Players: Mohammed Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Ravi Bishnoi, Shardul Thakur.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood.
Standby Players: Usman Qadir, Mohammad Haris, Shahnawaz Dahani.
Follow all the live action in our blog below!