Cricket World Cup 2019: Jasprit Bumrah against Fakhar Zaman and other key battles for India vs Pakistan

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Bumrah and Fakhar go head to head again.

The eyes of the entire cricketing world will be on Manchester on Sunday with arch-rivals India and Pakistan set to lock horns in a bumper 2019 ICC World Cup clash.

Blue and green will be the colours at Old Trafford on Sunday as the two neighbours get ready to renew their historic rivalry.

Emotions will run high at Old Trafford and there will be plenty of nerves to deal with on the field for both sets of players. There will also be several intriguing sub-plots in play which could have a decisive impact on the final outcome.

Here, we look at three such sub-plots which will be key at Manchester.

ROHIT V AMIR

The wounds of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final defeat against Pakistan in England will still be fresh in the minds of Rohit Sharma as he prepares to face up to his old foe Mohammad Amir.

Amir’s destructive spell in that final blew away India’s top-order including Rohit and he will be looking to avoid a repeat on Sunday.

With Shikhar Dhawan injured, there is even greater responsibility on Rohit’s shoulders to get India off to a good start but the right-hander has his task cut out against an in-form Amir. The India deputy skipper has a well-known vulnerability against left-arm pacers who have dismissed him 23 times so far in 202 ODI innings.

Rohit himself has been in good form in the World Cup with a century and fifty in two games but he is up against a resurgent Amir. The Pakistan seamer had been in dismal form leading up to the World Cup but he has already picked up 10 wickets in the tournament in three matches including a maiden fiver.

Amir is starting to look sharp once again.

Amir is starting to look sharp once again.

BUMRAH v FAKHAR

Another sub-plot which continues from the 2017 Champions Trophy final is the battle between Fakhar Zaman and Jasprit Bumrah. Bumrah had got the better of the Pakistan opener early in that final but the delivery was deemed to be a no-ball.

That reprieve proved costly for India and Bumrah with Fakhar going on to register a quick-fire century which paved the way for a 180-run win for Pakistan. Since then, Bumrah has gone on to establish himself as the No1 white-ball bowler in the world while Fakhar became the first ever ODI double-centurion for Pakistan.

Both the players come into Sunday’s clash in contrasting forms with Bumrah looking menacing while Fakhar has struggled for runs so far. The Pakistan opener can take the game away from India if he gets in at the crease but he will need to be at his very best to negate the threat of Bumrah.

Bumrah has an old score to settle with Fakhar.

Bumrah has an old score to settle with Fakhar.

KOHLI v SARFRAZ

In a pressure-cooker situation of an India-Pakistan clash, how the captains marshal their troops will be crucial. Both Virat Kohli and Sarfraz Ahmed like to wear their hearts on their sleeves on the field but they might need to rein it in a bit as they seek to deal with the pressure of the match.

For Kohli, it will be all about keeping his side’s feet on the ground after their impressive start to the campaign while Sarfraz will need to rally his troops after what has been a disappointing tournament so far bar a win against hosts England.

How they both go with the bat will also be critical for their respective sides on Sunday. Kohli will be determined to anchor the innings for India and bat most of the 50 overs while Sarfraz has a big job on his hands in shoring up Pakistan’s vulnerable middle-order.

The two captains will be in the limelight on Sunday.

The two captains will be in the limelight on Sunday.

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