Pakistan have won the toss and have chosen to bowl first in their historic Champions Trophy clash against India.
It’s the most intense sports rivalry in the world. It’s been estimated that over a billion people are going to watch this match.
Violence and conflict off the field for the best part of the second half of the 20th century form the background to their rivalry on the field, and while they haven’t played an ODI series against one another for the last five years, or indeed a Test series for the past 10 years, India and Pakistan have faced off in every other major tournament since 2010.
Pakistan, however, have lost all six of these big-tournament clashes, and as the No 8-ranked side in the world, the expectations aren’t too grand this time around either. India will be wary of the unpredictability that comes with Pakistan, and will look to shrug off the off-field drama that surrounds Kohli and their coach Anil Kumble, with players reportedly unhappy with his coaching philosophy.
It’s cold in Birmingham, but the weather is holding for the time being. There’s a chance of rain later, but it’s unlikely to affect the atmosphere around the stadium.
INDIA: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 MS Dhoni, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
PAKISTAN: 1 Ahmed Shehzad, 2 Azhar Ali, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Mohammad Hafeez, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfaraz Ahmed, 7 Imad Wasim, 8 Shadab Khan, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Wahab Riaz, 11 Hasan Ali
Photo: Jewel Samad/Getty Images