Shikhar Dhawan was in top form in India’s two ICC Champions Trophy warm-up matches while Wahab Riaz went wicketless in the only warm-up game he played for Pakistan.
India face Pakistan in their opening ICC Champions Trophy 2017 match at Edgbaston on June 4, Sunday. As every other encounter between these two teams, the match-up has quickly captured the imagination of cricket lovers around the globe. In the past, India and Pakistan went into any tournament on equal footing, however, this time around things are very different. While India are one of the tournament favourites and ranked third in ICC Team ODI rankings, Pakistan are languishing in eighth place. India will do well to guard against any complacency and will need to be wary of some of Pakistan’s top guns.
India boast of one the most feared batting line-ups in world cricket at the moment but how they fare in English conditions will be interesting to see.
Pakistan will be without batting mainstay Misbah-ul-Haq, however, discounting their talented bowling attack could prove to be disastrous for any team, especially in these conditions.
Shikhar Dhawan was in ominous form in the warm-up matches for India. He was one of the reasons behind India’s title triumph in Champions Trophy 2013, also held in England.
Against New Zealand in India’s first warm-up, Dhawan scored 40 off 59 balls as the Indians cantered to victory via the the Duckworth/Lewis method.
In the second warm-up against Bangladesh, the left-hander blasted 60 off 67 balls as India scored 324 for seven in 50 overs.
In the 2013 edition, Dhawan was the top-run getter in the tournament. The India opener scored 363 runs in 5 matches at an average of 90.75 and a strike rate of 101.39. Dhawan had two hundreds and a fifty to his name with a high score of 114.
Wahab Riaz, in contrast, bowled in Pakistan’s first warm-up game against Bangladesh and went wicketless. Riaz gave away 68 runs in his nine overs as Bangladesh posted a mammoth 341 for nine in 50 overs.
Meanwhile, the left-handed pacer didn’t have the best of outings in the 2013 edition, picking up just three wickets in as many matches.
Riaz has played five ODI matches against India, taking nine wickets with a best of five for 46.