2019 World Cup: Comparing the squads of India and Pakistan
The Pakistan Cricket Board had announced the 15-member squad, last week, for the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019. The squad has the right feel to it and there is enough experience. Meanwhile, India had announced their squad on April 15. The two arch-rivals meet on June 16 in the coveted tournament. Here we compare the two squads ahead of the World Cup.
India ahead of Pakistan when it comes to top order
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli will handle the top order duties for India. The three batsmen have been India's main weapons in ODI cricket. India also have KL Rahul as back-up. Meanwhile, Pakistan also have a decent top order unit. Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali and Fakhar Zaman are the three choices. The classy Babar Azam is their major strength at number three.
Nothing to separate the middle order of the two sides
India could have issues with number four as Vijay Shankar lacks the experience. But the onus will largely be on MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav to handle pressure situations. Dinesh Karthik provides the depth. Pakistan will look up to the experience of Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Their performances will define Pakistan. Haris Sohail is in the mix as well.
The all-round department gives a similar feeling
Hardik Pandya comes in as the top all-rounder for India. His presence can lift the side in the tournament. Ravindra Jadeja is the spin all-rounder. Jadhav and Shankar will need to chip in as well. For Pakistan, Faheem Ashraf can contribute as a bowling all-rounder. Left-arm spin all-rounder Imad Wasim could play an important role. Malik and Hafeez could be called upon at times.
India's bowling slightly better than Pakistan
India's two wrist-spinners in the form of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal can be their trump cards. The three-man pace attack of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami is one of the best in the tournament. Pakistan will depend on ace spinner Shadab Khan. Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan and Shaheen Afridi are quality pacers. Teenager Mohammad Hasnain can be a surprise package.
Overall India have a stronger unit than Pakistan
India go into the 2019 World Cup as one of the leading favorites. They have been consistent and powerful in the format since the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Kohli's presence lifts the side up. Meanwhile, Pakistan have lacked consistency over the years. They are a good side, but the players will need to raise the bar if they need to go the distance.