Mohammad Aamir vs Virat Kohli

Arguably the biggest battle at the Eden Gardens pitch would be between India’s best batsman and Pakistan’s main bowler. Kohli, with all his textbook cricketing shots and technique, will find Aamir a tough customer to deal with. Aamir’s excellent spell of pace bowling in the Asia Cup game when the two sides met is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Aamir has brought in self-belief and stability to Pakistan’s bowling unit since his comeback. The left-arm pacer has taken wickets regularly and his in-swinging deliveries have created havoc in a lot of dressing rooms. Kohli, though, is on another level.

Kohli will be keen on take on one of his favourite opponents, Pakistan, especially after India’s loss against the Black Caps.

Shahid Afridi vs Ravichandran Ashwin

One of the most thrilling battles to witness in the India vs Pakistan game will be between the Pakistan skipper India’s best spinner. Afridi, who silenced his critics with his bat against Bangladesh when he scored a 19-ball 49, will want to spoil India’s day. If he gets going, India will be on the back foot. However, Ashwin will be looking to send Afridi back to the dug-out early. Memories of Afridi’s heroics in the Asia Cup 2014 — where he won the match off the last over bowled by Ashwin — would still be fresh in the offie’s mind. In Afridi, Ashwin will have a fearless opponent.

Umar Akmal vs Jasprit Bumrah

BumrahAnother enticing battle will involve India’s current death-over specialist against Pakistan’s finisher. Umar Akmal could not get off the mark against Bangladesh but there are no doubts about his power-hitting abilities. Bumrah, on the other hand, has been by far the most impressive of the Indian bowlers. He has bowled accurate yorkers at crucial stages of the game and produced wickets. Dhoni has over the last couple of months used him judiciously and realised that in Bumrah, India have a real asset. Bumrah has been clinical in his spells until now and against Pakistan he will be looking to hit the block-hole time and again. Akmal might just have to dig a few out of his toes.

Mohammad Hafeez vs Ashish Nehra

In what could turn out to be one of the most influential aspects in the tie could be the outcome of the battle between India’s experienced left-arm fast bowler Ashish Nehra and Pakistan’s top-order mainstay Mohammad Hafeez. Nehra got the better of Hafeez in the Asia Cup 2016 match, where the latter edged one to Dhoni after getting a decent start. Hafeez was excellent against Bangladesh in Pakistan’s first match of the T20 World Cup and top-scored with 64 off 42 balls, giving his team the platform to unleash their batting prowess. Nehra would look to set up Hafeez and send him early. His job in the team has been to provide those early breakthroughs and he has done fairly well.