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

Shoaib Malik is the third highest run-scorer (1,782 runs) in ODIs among Pakistanis against India at an average of 48.16.

Wahab Riaz took a five-wicket haul against India in the 2011 ICC World Cup semifinal.   -  Getty Images

Mohammad Hafeez for consistency

The veteran Pakistan all-rounder has a good record — both as a batsman and a bowler — against India. Hafeez’s off-spin will come in handy versus India. He has nine wickets at an economy of 4.48 against the Men in Blue. And with the bat, Hafeez is in decent form. He scored a match-winning 84 off 62 against England and he will be looking forward to add to his tally of four 50+ scores in 11 innings against India.

READ: Five India players to watch out for

Fakhar Zaman for the Champions Trophy throwback

The aggressive Fakhar Zaman made his international debut in Champions Trophy 2017 in England. He was quick to make a mark with a century in the final against India. Since then, Zaman has had an ODI average of 48.57 with a double hundred to his name. However, the 29-year old opener hasn’t made his mark so far in this World Cup. There will not be a better platform to regain form. He will be looking to provide the start Pakistan is looking for.

Fakhar Zaman scored a century against India in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final and was adjudged Man of the Match.   -  Getty Images

 

Shoaib Malik, one of the best against India

Shoaib Malik is the third highest run-scorer (1,782 runs) in ODIs among Pakistanis against India at an average of 48.16. Only Salman Butt (5) has more hundreds than him (4) and only Mohammad Yousuf has more fifties (12) than him (11) for Pakistan against India. Malik also has no ducks against his arch-rival and he is the only person with this record among Pakistan players with 620+ runs versus the Men in Blue in ODIs.

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Mohammad Amir for the swing

After the Asia Cup in 2016, India skipper Virat Kohli had praised Amir saying that the left-armer was one of the toughest he had faced. The 27-year-old will go into the much-awaited game with an incredible five-wicket haul against defending champion Australia in his bag. Amir is the leading wicket-taker in this World Cup so far thereby keeping up the faith of the selectors who picked him in the last minute.

Mohammad Amir seems to have struck form for Pakistan at the World Cup.   -  AP Photo

 

Wahab Riaz for the experience

Wahab Riaz is the most experienced bowler in the current Pakistan line-up. He steps up on big occasions. And nothing is bigger than an India-Pakistan clash. If Pakistan is to break its duck against India in the World Cup, Wahab should be its go-to man. In the 2011 World Cup, the 33-year old left-arm fast bowler took 5 for 46 (his best bowling figures in ODIs) against India in the semifinal. He was almost unplayable that day and the whole of Pakistan will be hoping for a repeat. Moreover, his best T20I figures (3 for 18) came at Old Trafford, the venue for Sunday’s game.