New Delhi: The most awaited match of the ICC World Cup 2019 — India versus Pakistan is likely to be affected by poor weather as rain is predicted at Old Trafford, Manchester on Sunday (June 16). But, cricket fans across the world would be glued to their television screens and hoping for a full 50-over match between the arch-rivals. 

It will be the seventh ICC World Cup game between India and Pakistan and considering how both the teams have performed in the ICC World Cup 2019 so far, India are, in all likelihood, set to register their seventh win against Pakistan and add one more feather to their unbeaten 'World Cup' streak against the arch-rivals. 

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However, there is one area that India need to be very careful about under overcast conditions at Manchester. Pakistan have a good new-ball attack and their main-man Mohammad Amir, who has troubled India in the past, is in very good form.

Amir, along with Wahab Riaz and Hassan Ali, will move the ball both ways and the first 10 overs are going to be a big challenge, especially in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan. Amir and Riaz have the ability to bring the ball back into the right-hander and India's top seven batters are all right-handed. 

Also read: Full schedule of India matches at World Cup with start times, live TV, streaming info

We have seen in the World Cup 2019 that not losing wickets in the first 10 overs is very important in the English conditions and this is why Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, who will move up to open the innings in Dhawan's absence, have a huge responsibility of negotiating the new ball. Rahul, who is a brilliant batsman and has past experience of opening the batting, will have to be at his best and keep a check on his shot selection against the new ball. 

It is critical from India's point of view that their middle-order doesn't get exposed in the first quarter of the game, as a couple of early wickets can put India on the backfoot and the rebuilding stage can allow Pakistan to have a strong grip on the game. We have seen a few middle-order collapses in the World Cup 2019 and India's middle-order hasn't really been tested in the tournament so far. Although MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya have played some good cameos, they haven't really batted under pressure. Also, Kedar Jadhav hasn't played a single delivery in the World Cup 2019 and Vijay Shankar, who is likely to bat at number 4, will be playing his first game of the tournament. 


Rohit, who is arguably the best opener in ODI cricket, will have to be at his watchful best and also mentor young Rahul to control his hitting instincts. If Indian openers can manage to negotiate Amir's first spell, it would be an easy walk in the park for the men in blue. But, if Pakistani bowlers manage to pick early wickets, it can also be a repeat of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final.