India vs. Pakistan. It’s not only the most intense rivalry in cricket, but perhaps in all of sports. The latest chapter in the ongoing saga will stream live from the T20 World Cup Saturday, as the two bordering rivals face each other once again, this time under the pressure of a World Cup matchup. But the two teams find themselves in an unfamiliar position — this time, it is India who must fight not simply for bragging rights over their often-hostile neighbors to the northwest, but for their very survival in the tournament.
After a shocking, one-sided defeat to New Zealand in the tournament opener, host India faces a must-win game in their second match to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole with the Black Caps already at 2-0 atop the T20 World Cup Super 10 Group Two.
Pakistan would also go 2-0 with a victory over India, after Shahid Afridi and his men raced past Bangladesh with a 55-run victory to get their T20 World Cup underway. And with a dismal net run rate of -2.35 coming into the Pakistan game, India would need a miracle to advance to the semifinals if they fail to come out on top of Pakistan.
Viewpoint: Can India-Pakistan cricket promote peace? https://t.co/LlW3Dg9BLX
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) March 16, 2016
One thing is certain; the game will mark the end to one of two streaks. Pakistan has never beaten India in a World Cup match. But India has never beaten Pakistan at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata, site of Saturday’s showdown.
The last time India and Pakisitan faced off came three weeks ago, February 27, in an Asia Cup match in Dhaka, Bangladesh. India came out on top there with a comfortable five-wicket win. Watch highlights of the India Asia Cup triumph over Pakistan in the video below.
To find out how to watch the latest installment of the greatest rivalry in cricket, India vs. Pakistan, at the T20 World Cup, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. The match is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m. India Standard Time at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India, on Saturday, March 19.
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For India and Pakistan cricket fans in the United States, that start time will be 10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 7 a.m. Pacific.
The match takes place against the familiar backdrop of political tensions between the two countries. Leading into the tournament, Pakistan Captain Afridi — one of the most popular cricket stars in Pakistan — was actually accused of committing treason, at least by many in the Pakistan media, simply for saying in an interview that he enjoys playing in India, and that Indian fans show him more “love” than fans at home.
“This rivalry is huge,” India spin bowling superstar Ravichandran Ashwin told reporters on Friday. “It’s very hard to put a finger on it and say how huge it is. It’s probably bigger than the Ashes is. As far as the Indians go and the Pakistanis go, I don’t think they watch this as a game of cricket. It’s more of a border rivalry, they want to get one up on each other.”
Star Sports will carry a live stream of the match at this link. But the most reliable way to watch the India vs. Pakistan T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 rivalry match, via live stream in the United States, is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link. Fans can also use The Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV’s own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including Saturday’s India vs. Pakistan T20 Cricket World Cup Super 10 match, such as the offer at this link. The best bet would be the one-month free trial of Sling TV’s International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link. The India-based site CricHD will also carry a stream at this link.
[Featured Photo By A.M. Ahad/Associated Press]