Pakistan’s men’s cricket team landed on the Indian shores ahead of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023, on Wednesday, September 24. The Babar Azam-led 15-man squad travelled from Pakistan to Delhi via Dubai and then to Hyderabad, where they will play two warm-up matches. Their first match is on October 6 vs Netherlands at the same venue, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
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Pakistan Cricket posted a video on X (formerly Twitter) to show how the national team was training in what was their first nets session as well as practice session.
Pakistan’s opening batter Fakhar Zaman won the hearts of many in India by calling the country by its another name. Recently, the Government of India presented itself as Bharat, which is also a name mentioned in the Indian Constitution. Fakhar too used the same name in his post, saying, “Hello, Bharat”. In the replies, one can see India fans welcoming Fakhar to Bharat. Some of the fans have also taken potshot at Fakhar, saying that maybe the Pakistani cricketer wants to take the Indian citizenship.
Check out Fakhar’s post for Bharat and the replies of the Indians:
Welcome in BHARAT ____
— Vishal Kumar__ (@vishalkumar9000) September 28, 2023
— Abhishek (@MSDianAbhiii) September 28, 2023
After playing Netherlands in their opening contest, the Men in Green will take on Sri Lanka in the Match 8 of the World Cup at Hyderabad only on October 10. They will then fly to Ahmedabad to play arch-rivals and hosts India at Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium on October 14.
Not to forget, Pakistan enter the World Cup as World No 2 ODI side behind India. They were the World No 1 till end of Asia Cup 2023. But with India winning the Asia Cup, beating Australia in the first 2 ODIs, and Pakistan getting knocked out, they slipped to No 2 in rankings.
Historically, the teams who are placed in top two of ODI rankings ahead of the World Cup have gone on to win the title. Since 1999, this has been the trend. India look to be the favourites to win the tournament but Pakistan are also being billed as the four of the semi-finalists. This is because Pakistan have a solid team and play in the same conditions as India. They may have lost Asia Cup but Pakistan are still a dangerous outfit.