India wins the toss, bowls first against Pakistan

India won the toss and will bowl first in its widely anticipated Cricket World Cup match against regional rival Pakistan before an expected 100,000-plus crowd at Narendra Modi Stadium on Saturday.

India made one change from its playing 11 from the last game. Fit-again Shubman Gill, who missed both opening games because of an illness, will open the innings with skipper Rohit Sharma.

Pakistan has fielded an unchanged side from its previous win over Sri Lanka.

India and Pakistan have won both their opening matches. The hosts beat Australia in their opener and Afghanistan on Wednesday, while Pakistan easily beat the Netherlands in its opener and then needed a World Cup-record run chase to overcome Sri Lanka.

Political reasons constantly obstruct the teams’ bilateral series. They haven’t met in a test series in 16 years and one-day international and Twenty20 series in 10 years. As recently as last month at the Asia Cup, India refused to go to host Pakistan, so Pakistan accommodated by sharing hosting duties with Sri Lanka.

Pakistan has never beaten India at the Cricket World Cup. Even when Pakistan won its only title in 1992 it lost to India in Sydney. The trend continued in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2019. The 7-0 score line is a huge topic of contention among the rival fans.

Lineups:

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.

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