India v Pakistan, Champions Trophy, Group B, Edgbaston June 14, 2013

Just another dead rubber? Think again


Match Facts

Saturday, June 15, 2013, Edgbaston
Start time 10.30am (9.30 GMT)

Big Picture

This was supposed to be the marquee clash of the league stage. Tickets for the game were sold out within 30 minutes of being made available online. It isn't a coincidence that the match is scheduled for Saturday primetime viewing in India and Pakistan and could have decided the group. Instead, to the organisers' dismay, we are left with a dead rubber as India have already qualified for the semi-finals and Pakistan are eliminated.

Unlike most dead rubbers though, there's still plenty of interest since it is still an India v Pakistan match. The number of contests between the two sides has decreased over the past few years due to the strained political relations between the two countries, and fans are still eager for any chance to see the great rivals face off.

One of India's proudest one-day records is that they have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup game, having triumphed in all five encounters. Pakistan have a similarly spotless record against India in the Champions Trophy, though there have only been two clashes between the two sides.

While Pakistan will be looking to extend that run in Birmingham, India will be looking for payback after a stinging defeat in the one-day series at home earlier this year.

In that series, Pakistan showed off the potency of their bowling attack, and India's batsmen were left nonplussed. It will again be a confrontation between Pakistan's bowling might and India's batting strength. This time, MS Dhoni's side have some of the most in-form batsmen around. In contrast, Pakistan's batting has been seriously underwhelming, while India's bowlers, about whom there was much apprehension coming into the tournament, have not done too shabbily thus far.

Form guide

(Most recent first)

India: WWLWW
Pakistan: LLWTW

In the Spotlight

Umesh Yadav was talked up as a quick bowler who could provide India's bowling with teeth, but though he has been pacy, he has consistently been taken for runs. After 19 ODIs, his career economy is an unflattering 6.32. He has the ability to deliver yorkers, and bowls the slower delivery as well, which means India will continue to look to him to solve the team's death-bowling issues.

Mohammad Hafeez is one of the senior figures in the Pakistan one-day side, and presumably the man who will take over when Misbah-ul-Haq retires. With Pakistan's batting struggling in recent games, Hafeez has also floundered - five of his last seven ODI innings are single-digit scores. He continues to be a handy offspinner, but Pakistan need him to pull his weight in batting as well.

Team news

Having already qualified, India have the opportunity to try out some of the others in the squad, but it is unlikely they will make any changes.

India: (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Ishant Sharma

Pakistan also have the liberty to shuffle around their team. The bowling has been functioning well so it doesn't need much tinkering. One of the main questions will be whether Shoaib Malik gets another chance in the middle order. Imran Farhat has also had two failures, and it remains to be seen whether he stays in the side.

Pakistan: (probable) 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Asad Shafiq, 4 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 5 Umar Amin, 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Wahab Riaz, 9 Saeed Ajmal, 10 Junaid Khan, 11 Mohammad Irfan

Pitch and conditions

It will be another chilly day in Birmingham, with a predicted maximum temperature of 14C. The forecast also suggests light rain through the afternoon. It hasn't been a run-filled wicket in Edgbaston so far, with a highest total of 269 in three matches. Expect another slow track.

Stats and Trivia

  • Malik's last 50-plus ODI score came in the 2009 Champions Trophy, against India

  • Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have put on consecutive century stands for the first wicket. Before them, the last time India's openers put on back-to-back hundred partnerships was in 2007


"Whenever we play each other it's like a final for everybody."

"If their thinking is that the game against India must be won as a consolation prize just because they have not qualified for the semi-finals, they will be in big trouble."
MS Dhoni

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manesh on June 16, 2013, 6:15 GMT

    And Pakistan has been kicked out by India once again in ICC tournaments. a very big lol @ Baseball-Sucks

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2013, 11:23 GMT

    If the rain givs way........

  • mohammad on June 15, 2013, 11:20 GMT

    @glowing__ss. Your thinking is normal of what was expected long time ago. I can not imagine how a country with millions of people and thousands playing crickets for more than 60 years can not find a wicket keeper. There must be some magic in Kamran and let us see if that magic go away after this poor showing. I DO NOT LIKE YOUR IDEA OF AFRIDI AS CAPTAIN. NEED A NEW CAPTAIN BUT NOT Afridi or HAFIZ.A new team with a new captain is the solution.

  • Android on June 15, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    i dont think that this game is going to be exited because there is no compitation between these teams indian team much better and in these days and in complete foum so i dont think there is exitment in this game

  • Ian on June 15, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    I've never really managed to get into this rivalry much, especially in recent times, since there's been so much exaggerated hype about both teams. Certainly, the fact that this match is a dead rubber doesn't help with that at all. For the sake of One Day Cricket, however, I hope that it's a close one, but I doubt it will be worth following the game very closely. My tournament prediction is South Africa vs India in the final, and a South African win from there. The Ashes had better get here soon so we can watch the REAL cricket.

  • Android on June 15, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    So many greats playing on both sides.... Dhoni, Ajmal, Misbah, Kohli.... Respect for these masters of the game... all the best to both teams... May the Game win.

  • Salman on June 15, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    After Losing to India Very Badly & Getting Rid of Selection Panel, I hope Pakistan Team will be 1. Nasir (VC) 2. Ahmad / Imran Nazir / Shahzaib (Depend upon the Form) 3. UmarAkmal (VC) (K) 4. Haris Sohail 5. Misbah / (New WK in future) 6. Hafeez / Hammad (Depend upon the pitch) 7. Afridi (C) 8. Wahab 9. Saeed 10.Junaid 11.Irfan / Gul (Depend upon the team)

    Keeping in view the rebuilding give these players long run. Real Talent of Pak for ODI.

  • Dummy4 on June 15, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    India bowling also good with umesh yadav ishant buhwneshwar kumar and ashwing. Pakistan batsman will struggle again . hope to see good match between Pakistan and India .we don't want one side match.

  • Android on June 15, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Pakistan should try and get atleast 320 to put some sort of pressure on India..

  • Kashi on June 15, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Why India should Change Bowlers: If Umesh Yadav, Bhuvnesh, Ashiwn are the main bowlers and they get smashed all around it would be demoralizing going into semis. If on the other hand they try Vinay, Pathan and Mishra its a win win situation. If they get hit, you can still feel good having tried 2nd best bowling unit and feel confident going to semis. If they do well you have a good backup team!

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