No more than an hour after the last of the qualifying matches concludes in Sylhet on Friday (March 21) evening, the Super 10s will get underway. What better match to kick off this phase than the latest act of the India v Pakistan rivalry? Shahid Afridi’s sixes off R Ashwin in the Asia cup final will still be fresh in the memory of the fans as well as the players from both sides when India takes on Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. Here is a look at some key facts heading into the clash.
India v Pakistan
These teams tied their first T20I meeting, at the 2007 ICC World Twenty20. India won the bowl-out in that match and have won three of the four subsequent meetings.
Mohammad Hafeez (132) needs eight runs to pass Gautam Gambhir (139) as the leading run-scorer in T20Is between these teams.
Saeed Ajmal has 32 wickets in ICC World Twenty20 matches. He needs two wickets to pass Lasith Malinga as the leading wicket-taker in the history of the tournament.
India have won five of their last six T20Is played outside of India. They lost the toss in all of the matches they won, but won the toss in the match they lost.
Of bowlers to deliver at least 10 overs in T20Is between ICC Full member nations since the start of 2013, Zulfiqar Babar has induced the highest percentage of play and misses (25%).
Yuvraj Singh needs 65 runs to pass Gautam Gambhir as India’s leading T20I run-scorer. Suresh Raina is 73 runs behind Gambhir in third place on this list.
Yuvraj Singh needs 59 runs to become the first player to score 500 runs and take 10 wickets in ICC World Twenty20 matches.
Kamran Akmal will become the second player after Kumar Sangakkara to keep wicket in 50 T20I innings if he takes the field in this match.
Virat Kohli v Shahid Afridi
India’s lack of recent T20I action means Virat Kohli has not been able to exhibit his supreme ODI form in the shortest format. Kohli has batted once in T20Is since the start of 2013, but his career average of 34.5, the eighth highest of anyone playing at least 20 innings, marks him out as a key man for India.
Kohli loves playing against Pakistan, hitting 114 runs in three innings at an average of 57 and the second highest international run-scorer since the start of 2013 will be Pakistan’s most prized wicket. None of the Pakistan bowlers in this tournament have dismissed him in this format, but they will hope star man Shahid Afridi rises to the big occasion, as he did in the recent Asia Cup.
Afridi’s highest T20I score remains the unbeaten 54 he hit in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 final and his team’s supporters would prefer to recall that performance to his T20I record against India: 35 runs at an average of 8.8 and two wickets at an average of 40 and economy rate of 8.9.