It is the mother of all cricket contests in the ICC Champions Trophy on this Sunday: India vs Pakistan. Rain clouds loom large over Birmingham. Still, the atmosphere surrounding the match is hot, because of real clouds of war over the border between India and Pakistan. And Brimingham and neighbouring areas have a sizable population of expatriates from both these countries. It will be an Indian subcontinent contest in the British isles. The loser will likely have to face the fans’ wrath back home.
The match can go either way. But India have a clear upper hand over Pakistan in ICC tournaments. In the recent times, India have come out on top in most of the encounters. But for cricket betting purposes, this is a different day and a different match. You just cannot go by history alone.
India – Preview
Batting will be the most worrisome factor for India. Virat Kohli has a poor record in England. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are coming back into the team after lengthy lay-offs from international cricket. The good thing is that all the Indian players have solid match practice during the IPL. Indian bowling look impressive. Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should enjoy the conditions. The presence of all-rounders such as Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja offers great balance to the team and makes the fielding energetic. India do have the psychological advantage. However, unless they get their bating order right, they are going to cause huge uproar in India. In short, do not put your cricket betting money blindly on India.
Pakistan – Preview
Pakistan will be the underdogs. They probably will enjoy that tag. The good thing for them is that they have the bowling firepower to rattle India: Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, and Wahab Riaz. All they need is big score from a couple of their batsmen. Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam are perfectly capable. Pakistan will be happy if it is a relatively low-scoring affair. If it rains, and the match is shortened, it will be advantageous to Pakistan as free scoring will be difficult on the pitch, and Indian batsmen may struggle.
Prediction for cricket betting: India are bookmakers’ favorites.