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04 October 2023

Indo-Pak cricket frenzy hits peak in Dubai

By Roopesh Raj

Cricket frenzy reached its peak in Dubai today as India and Pakistan fought the battle on the ground for their opening Cricket World Cup match.

Be they offices, homes or consulate offices, eyes of all Indians and Pakistanis were glued to the TV sets.

The match of the pool B game is being beamed to an estimated 2.5 billion across the world.
Batting first, India piled up a huge total of 300 runs for 7 at in the World Cup Pool B match against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval, Australia.

Dubai residents predict who will win

The battle lines are drawn for what most news agencies will refer tomorrow to as the greatest sporting clash in the world between two countries – in terms of numbers.

Pakistan versus India on the cricket field... at the World Cup.

Also Read: Pakistan responds to India's World Cup taunt

Every time the two cricket giants clash – given that they cannot play each other either in India or in Pakistan  – here in Dubai the two expat communities pad up, take a stance (usually away from work) and revel in the match-up.

The World Cup only heightens the experience, primarily because Pakistan have lost to India every time they have played each other in the ODI World Cup; five times so far.

Tomorrow at 7.30am UAE time, the two cricketing nations will play each other at the Adelaide Oval in Australia in the 2015 ODI Cricket World Cup’s show-piece match.

The weather forecast for the Oval is mostly sunny, with a maximum temperature of 39 Celsius. Here in the UAE the forecast is tense, exciting and nervousness.

Emirates 24|7
begins its countdown to the big clash by inviting two diehard cricket fans to share their views on who will win?

Five reasons why Pakistan will beat India

Batting for Pakistan is Dubai resident and Management Consultant Faris Qavi.
1) Mohammed Irfan. That name should be enough to destroy the Indian batting, or at least keep them in a below-250 run check. Irfan’s bounce on a lively Oval pitch will just be too much for India.
2) India have played themselves into a losing position thanks to this lengthy stint away from home. Their tour in Australia has been a failure and them being away from home for so long is only going to make it worse.
3) He is the joker in the pack. But he is also the match-winner – both with bat and bowl. Shahid Afridi will play and when he plays, he can win it all alone.
4) I don’t think India has ever – in the history or their cricketing game – had a bowling attack as poor as the one they currently have. Pakistan’s batsmen have nothing and no one to worry about.
5) Pakistan have lost five to India at the World Cup. Just a basic law of averages suggests that this sixth match will go Pakistan’s way.
Should Pakistan win the toss they must…. “Definitely bowl. Firstly to make use of the bounce in the pitch and with the Indian bowling, they should be able to chase down any total set.”
Five reasons why India will beat Pakistan
Investment advisor, Praveen Manghnani, also a Dubai resident, runs in for India.
1) At the World Cup Pakistan just do not have the psyche to play India. Five losses are not just a statistic. They are evidence that Pakistan cannot beat India at the World Cup – at least not in their heads.
2 ) India always rise to the occasion when playing Pakistan at the World Cup. The ‘India jinx’ is in place, because India brings a different approach to the game, a certain ‘josh’ that Pakistan cannot match.
3) Virat Kohli – the man, in form and he will lead the batting charge, whether we set a target or chase. Rohit Sharma is the other factor. These two will fire and that will be too much for Pakistan.
4) India have had a tough warm-up for the World Cup having lost a few. The World Cup is their time to turn it around. They will know that and will bring their ‘A’ game.
5) This is Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s last World Cup. Possibly he could retire from ODIs after this Cup as well. His captaincy and inspiration will be a key factor if the game starts going Pakistan’s way.
Should India win the toss they should… Bowl. India’s bowling is bad, so it will be better to chase.

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India backers

Abraham, an Al Nahda resident and an ardent cricket fan, backs India.

“Although India has not been playing well in the preliminary matches, there’s an added sense of courage between the players.
“I think this will give them the strength to preserve and win this match, even if some of the players are not in form. As this match will be considered as the final in their minds.”

Joseph Dominic is also flying India flag high.

“I feel India has an excellent chance of winning the match.
“The Indian team has a much stronger batting line-up than the Pakistani team. Historically, India has been performing well in the world cup.”

Pakistan backers

Rohini Rajkumar, an Indian, is, however, skeptical about India’s chances this time.
“The Indian team is not in good form. After their performance in the Test series in Australia, they are low on confidence.”

Omana also believes that internal politics could negatively impact the Indian team’s performance.

“It is quite strange to see Dhoni announcing his retirement from Test cricket in the middle of the Australian series, which leads me to believe that there is a lot of internal politics within the team, which would affect their performance on the field.”