In cricket, encounters between India and Pakistan stand above all else in terms of the rivalry in the game. Over the years, it has produced some of the most iconic matches in the history of cricket.
With the arch-rivals locking horns once again on Sunday in a high voltage campaign opener, excitement has reached feverish pitch across India and particularly Odisha.
The Super-12 phase of the T20 World Cup might have begun on Saturday, but the much-awaited India-Pakistan clash is believed to be the real icebreaker for crores of cricket lovers across the globe.
India and Pakistan will start their campaign at 7:30 PM (IST) and it will be interesting to see who takes the honours, given that so many emotions are riding on this one game.
Meanwhile, people in the Millennium City of Cuttack offered special prayers at temples and mosques wishing India a win in the crucial match against Pakistan.
“We offered special prayer at Bukhari Baba Mazar. India will definitely register a victory in the match, while many television sets will break in Pakistan. The two nations will be facing each other after several years so we expect a nail-biter today,” said an Indian team supported.
“India is going today as I expect a blistering century from Rohit Sharma’s willow,” said a little fan of Indian cricket team.
Similarly, noted sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik carved out a sand art at Puri beach wishing good luck message to team India.
Notably, India have dominated the game on the big stage, winning all five ICC T20 World Cup encounters against their arch-rivals.
Kohli's boys would like to maintain the country's 100 per cent record against Pakistan, but unpredictability is the name of the game and the neighbours are known to become highly motivated when playing India.
On paper, India are the bookies favourites, given their unblemished record against Pakistan in ICC World Cups. Observers believe that as the T20 format brings with it lots of unpredictability, coupled with the fact that it doesn't get any bigger than this among cricket rivalries, the team that handles pressure better will emerge the winner.
As always, tonight's game is expected to be a clash between India's batting and Pakistan's bowling. India has a strong batting spine comprising stars like KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, while Pakistan boasts of an attack that has Imad Wasim, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Shadab Khan and Hasan Ali.
Of late, India has produced some of the best bowlers in the world and Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakraborty and Ravindra Jadeja would also like to showcase their prowess against the likes of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez from the neighbouring side.