World Cup: Five India players to watch out for against Pakistan

The India-Pakistan clash in Manchester on Sunday will witness K.L. Rahul as the new opener for the injured Shikhar Dhawan.

MS Dhoni was the captain when India beat Pakistan to win the 2007 T20 World Cup.   -  Getty Images

M.S. Dhoni for the best average

Dhoni has the best average (55.90) among Indians against Pakistan in ODIs (minimum 5 innings). Overall, the wicketkeeper-batsman has 1,230 runs with two hundreds and nine fifties at a strike-rate of 90.5 against the arch-rival. So far, MSD has two 25+ scores in World Cup 2019 and he will be eager to convert the starts into big scores. The 37-year-old will also be a threat with his 'keeping gloves in the crunch game.

READ: Five Pakistan players to watch out for

Kuldeep Yadav for the spin

Indian bowler Kuldeep Yadav took 5 for 24 against England at the same ground last year.   -  Getty Images

 

The Old Trafford wicket has assisted spinners in the past. The likes of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Monty Panesar have been successful in Manchester. During India’s tour of England in July last year, Kuldeep took 5 for 24 in the first T20I at the same ground and guided India to a win. Kuldeep had an IPL to forget and he hasn’t had the best of starts in the World Cup with just one wicket in two games.

Rahul for past records

In the same match where Kuldeep took a five-for, Rahul scored an unbeaten century. And moreover, after the washout against New Zealand in the previous game this will be the first game the Karnataka batsman will don the opener’s role post Dhawan’s injury. Rahul had an excellent IPL as an opener and also has an excellent track record as an opener in limited-overs cricket.

KL Rahul scored an unbeaten century at Old Trafford, Manchester, in a T20I last year.   -  Getty Images

 

Hardik Pandya for the all-round show

Pandya’s 2019 began on a controversial note, but the 25-year old all-rounder has put all the negativity behind him. He too had an amazing IPL and in the last game against Australia, he played a brilliant cameo of 48 off 27 at No. 4. He can bat in any position and play the slogger role. He may also create problems for the Pakistani batsmen with his medium pace. Pandya is also a livewire on the field.

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Kedar Jadhav, the street-smart player

Many cricket experts, such as Dean Jones and Scott Styris, have been backing Jadhav for the No. 4 slot after Dhawan’s injury. If promoted up the order, the 34-year old will have a point to prove. One more interesting fact about Jadhav is that he has four wickets in four matches against Pakistan at an average of 17.50 and an economy of 4.66 bowling only 15 overs.