India vs Pakistan is always a blockbuster contest. But India playing Pakistan twice in a tournament, that too in a World Cup, has happened only once - in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007. India won both games back then and lifted the World Cup title under MS Dhoni's captaincy.
Other than the Indian fans, the ICC and the broadcasters will also be hoping that an India vs Pakistan final happens again. But for that to happen, the Rohit Sharma-led side will first have to go past the England team, which is number 2 in the T20I rankings and is yet to peak in the tournament.
Pakistan in final: Pakistan (153/3) defeated New Zealand (152/4) by 7 wickets in the first semi-final to book their spot for the summit clash in Melbourne as Babar Azam returned back to form with 43-ball 52 on Wednesday (November 9).
Road to the semis:
India: Of all the 12 teams, India finished with the highest number of points - 8. Of the five games in the Super-12, India registered victory against Pakistan, Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe but lost the match against South Africa on a fast and bouncy wicket in Perth.
England: Along with India, England were also among favourites for the title. But not only were they in a tougher group, the Jos Buttler-led side was also not helped by the weather gods. They finished second in the group below New Zealand while Australia finished third with same number of points but a poorer net run rate.
Players to watch out for:
Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar Yadav, also known as SKY, is the number 1 T20I batter at the moment. He has the best strike rate (191) in the tournament and has the ability to singlehandedly change the course of the game with his 360-degree batting style.
Virat Kohli: The return of Kohli back to form has been the best thing that has happened to the Indian team in recent times. Kohli has scored the most number of runs (246) in the tournament so far at an average of 123. The way he took India to a 4-wicket victory against Pakistan on the last ball with his unbeaten 83-run knock tells us how important he is for Team India.
Jos Buttler: Captain Jos Buttler is one of the most effective batsmen in the T20 format. He has scored 119 runs so far in the tournament in 4 games but that can't tell how good a batsman he is. If he gets to his best, Buttler has the ability to dominate any bowling attack.
Ben Stokes: Stokes is a player who you can never write off. In last 4-5 years, he has been the biggest matchwinner for England in all three formats and took his team to its first ODI World Cup victory in 2019. As England's middle order has been struggling, Stokes has scored 58 runs in 4 games and has been very effective with the ball also.
Head to head: India has won 12 out of 22 T20I matches against England. They have been undefeated in the last four games against the English side. India also hold a 2-1 record over England in T20 World Cups.
India probable XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (C), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (Wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
England probable XI: Alex Hales, Jos Buttler (C&Wk), Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Phil Salt, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan.
When and where to watch: The match begins at 1:30 pm (IST) and will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports network channels and will also be streamed LIVE on Disney+ Hotstar.