Due to their scarcity and exclusivity in international competitions, India-Pakistan encounters frequently bring forth the worst in both sets of fans. Additionally, in recent years, one-sided anticlimaxes on the field have frequently replaced the pre-game excitement. It is often characterised by jingoistic celebration and malicious accusations in both supporter camps.

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But just over a month ago, during a couple of encounters at the Asia Cup, the two teams served as a reminder of the excitement their cricketing clashes can provide. Both matches were tight tactical contests that came down to the last ball, with Pakistan winning the second with one ball left and India winning the first with two balls left.

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It became apparent at that point that these were two outstanding T20 teams with differing strengths that roughly fit national preconceptions that weren’t always true in the past. A strong batting unit on one side, with flaws in its bowling as a result of the absence of one central ace, and a conservative top order that set its eyes on par totals in confidence that its high-caliber, high-pace attack could hold them off on the other.

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The contest promises to be a confrontation between two cricketing ideas – two cricketing titans. Add to the mix a World Cup scenario, and a neutral setting. 

The two sides face off on Sunday, October 23 in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 tournament, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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No better condition for the match-up than the ones in Australia for the world’s fastest T20I attack to face up against some of the top fast-bowling-playing batters, and possibly no better ground for this than the MCG with its 100,000+ capacity.

Let’s just hope that rain does not ruin the parade.