Cricket World Cup 2015: India v Pakistan will be 'high-voltage'

India captain MS Dhoni (left) and Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-haq
ICC Cricket World Cup: India v Pakistan
Venue: Adelaide Date: Sunday, 15 February, 03:30 GMT
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India captain MS Dhoni is expecting a "high-voltage game" when the holders take on bitter rivals Pakistan in their opening World Cup match in Adelaide.

Organisers expect the Pool B match to draw the biggest television audience in the history of the sport.

India, champions in 1983 and 2011, have won all five of their previous World Cup meetings with Pakistan.

"It's the perfect scenario to start," said Dhoni. "When we play Pakistan there's definitely more intensity."

He added: "It's one of those occasions where the spectators really love it, it's one of the most prized games when it comes to the ODI format."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan
"Let's see how India cope with the World Cup. They are looking like having to bat 10% above expectation because the bowling line-up is poor. I don't give the sub-continent teams a chance of winning it."

The rivalry between India and Pakistan is the biggest in cricket and tickets for the match between the two Asian neighbours sold out in 20 minutes.

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq described it as being "like a final before the final, not only for fans but also for both teams.''

And current skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is hoping his young players can rise to the occasion.

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"Obviously India-Pakistan is always all about pressure,'' said Misbah, who has won seven of the 16 limited-overs internationals he has played against India.

"The best thing we can do is just enjoy the game, enjoy the atmosphere, go there, play your game, be positive.

"Don't take anything into the ground when you are playing against India - you don't have to worry about what is happening outside, what has been going on in the countries."

India lost all three of their completed matches in the recent tri-series against Australia and England and Dhoni has called for a significant improvement from his bowlers.

"Where we drastically need to improve is not giving boundary opportunities and easy boundary balls in the first 10 overs when the ball is new and the batsmen can actually use your pace," said Dhoni.

"That will be the key factor, how we bowl in the first 10 overs."

Pakistan go into the tournament without the experienced trio of fast bowlers Umar Gul and Junaid Khan and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who are all injured.

Spinner Saeed Ajmal's new bowling action was not deemed legal in time for him to be called up.

Misbah, however, refused to dwell on the absentees.

"Obviously senior players, experienced players and good performers are key to your team's success, but this is how life goes on," he said.

"Unfortunately injuries are part and parcel of your life. You should just focus on what you've got, and you need to believe that whatever you've got, that is the best."

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