This monumental face-off is poised to be a high-octane showdown, as both teams have begun their campaigns with convincing wins in their first two matches.

The upcoming match carries an extraordinary weight, transcending the boundaries of sport. 

It's a rivalry etched in the annals of cricketing history, steeped in tradition and marked by a fervour that knows no bounds. Notably, Pakistan has a significant historical hurdle to overcome, having never secured a victory against India in an ODI World Cup match. 

This clash provides them with a golden opportunity to script a new chapter.

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Pitch Preview, Match Timing, and Viewing Options

The colossal Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad will be the battleground for this epic duel, scheduled to kick off at 2:00 PM IST on October 14. The pitch at this venue is known for its equilibrium, offering an even playing field for both batsmen and bowlers. 

However, the expected dew factor might sway the decision of the toss-winning captain towards opting to bowl first.

Cricket enthusiasts worldwide can savour every moment of the action, as Star Sports Network will broadcast the match live. For those on the move, the game can be streamed in real time through the Disney+ Hotstar app.

Historical Head-to-Head Record

While history favours India, with Pakistan yet to secure a single victory in all seven previous ODI World Cup encounters, the overall ODI record leans in Pakistan's favour. 

The Men in Green boast 73 ODI victories against India, outnumbering India's 56 wins.

The arch-rivals recently squared off in the Asia Cup just last month, where India emerged triumphant with a resounding 228-run win. The clash witnessed exceptional performances by KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, both achieving centuries.

Anticipation for Shubman Gill's Return

India's budding batting sensation, Shubman Gill, who missed the initial two matches due to dengue, is making strides toward recovery. Nevertheless, his participation in the pivotal face-off against Pakistan remains a question mark. 

Nevertheless, India's top order packs a punch, with three of the top-five batters having already registered fifty-plus scores in the tournament.

On the flip side, Pakistan is grappling with concerns regarding their skipper, Babar Azam, who has been facing a lean patch. The onus of their batting might fall upon Mohammad Rizwan, who has exhibited remarkable form with the bat in recent outings.

Probable Starting Lineups

In preparation for this highly-anticipated showdown, here are the expected starting lineups for both teams:

India's Probable Starting XI:

  • Rohit Sharma (C)
  • Ishan Kishan
  • Virat Kohli
  • Shreyas Iyer
  • KL Rahul (WK)
  • Hardik Pandya
  • Ravindra Jadeja
  • Shardul Thakur
  • Kuldeep Yadav
  • Jasprit Bumrah
  • Mohammed Siraj

Pakistan's Probable Starting XI:

  • Abdullah Shafique
  • Imam-ul-Haq
  • Babar Azam (C)
  • Mohammad Rizwan (WK)
  • Saud Shakeel
  • Iftikhar Ahmed
  • Shadab Khan
  • Mohammad Nawaz
  • Hasan Ali
  • Shaheen Afridi
  • Haris Rauf

As the cricketing world braces for this much-anticipated showdown, fans and neutrals alike can expect an electrifying contest. Will Pakistan finally break the shackles of their ODI World Cup history against India, or will India's supremacy continue to prevail? 

The answers will unfold on the field tomorrow October 14, 2023, in what is undeniably one of the most eagerly awaited matches of the tournament.

Cover Image: The Indian Express