New Delhi: India will clash with arch-rivals Pakistan in their ICC T20 World Cup opener on October 24 in Dubai.
As per the schedule announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC), India’s next opponent will be New Zealand on October 31 in Dubai, followed by a match against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on November 3.
India’s remaining two Super 12 matches are against the winner of Group B (November 5 in Dubai) and second placed side of Group A (November 8 in Dubai).
The tournament’s first round kicks off on October 17 in Oman, with the hosts taking on Papua New Guinea and Bangladesh playing Scotland. Group A consists of 2014 champions Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia, while Group B has Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 12 stage.
The Super 12s — round two of the tournament, with two groups — will begin on October 23, with Australia facing South Africa in Abu Dhabi and England up against title holders and two-time champions West Indies in Dubai. Meanwhile, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam was confident that his side will defeat arch-rivals India in its opening clash of the T20 World Cup as it was more familiar with the conditions, having played mostly in the UAE for the past three-four years.
“We’ve been playing cricket in UAE for the past 3-4 years and we know the conditions really well,” Azam was quoted as saying by the ICC.
“We know how the wicket will behave and the adjustments batters will have to make. On the day who plays the better cricket, wins the match. If you ask me, we will win,” added the star batsman, who is set to play his first T20 World Cup and will make his debut as captain.