Virat Kohli (left) will find it tough to go past Mohammad Aamer © IANS and Getty Images
Virat Kohli (left) will find it tough to go past Mohammad Aamer © IANS and Getty Images

Cricket fever will be at its best when India come face to face with arch rivals Pakistan at Eden Gardens in Kolkata in the Super-10 encounter of T20 World Cup 2016. Hosts India would be eager to get to winning ways after being completely outwitted by New Zealand in their opening match. They will be looking to make an impact on the points table too. Pakistan, who are coming off a convincing win against Bangladesh, will not be easy to beat. Given the history between both sides, the match guarantees plenty of high-voltage drama as cricket takes over. With two of the biggest rivals in cricket locking horns, here are a few key battles that might decide the course of the match on Saturday. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs Pakistan, ICC World T20 2016, Match 19 at Eden Gardens

Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Aamer: 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 Aamer a tough customer to deal with. Aamer’s excellent spell of pace bowling in the Asia Cup game when the two sides met is still fresh in everyone’s mind. Aamer 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. READ: Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Aamer: Batman vs Superman in India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2016

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. READ: ICC World T20 2016 Super-10 stage has been completely unpredictable so far!

Jasprit Bumrah vs Umar Akmal: Another 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. READ: Mohammad Aamer’s sensational spell against India in Asia Cup 2016 rekindles memories of Wahab Riaz vs Shane Watson in World Cup 2015

Yuvraj Singh vs Wahab Riaz: Yuvraj Singh and Wahab Riaz have faced similar journeys over the last couple of months. Both are experienced cricketers who have not been in the best of form, but who are key players in their sides. Yuvraj has slowly regained his lost touch, and this is the time of the tournament when he will really be looking to make his presence felt. If he can middle a few against the Pakistan bowlers, he might feel good about his batting all the more. Meanwhile, Wahab has not been at his wicket-taking best, but will take heart from his five-wicket haul against India in the 2011 World Cup. The fact that he had dismissed Yuvraj for a golden duck in that game will add to the charm. READ: ICC World T20 2016: Pakistan have upper hand against India

Ashish Nehra vs Mohammad Hafeez: 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.

(Karan Dewan, a reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan.)