Virat Kohli wants India to forget about the opposition and instead focus on their own game as they prepare to face rivals Pakistan on Sunday.

Old Trafford is the venue for the Cricket World Cup clash between the two neighbouring countries, though the much-anticipated fixture may be hampered by the Manchester rain.

Bad weather put paid to India's 100 per cent record at this year's tournament when their clash with New Zealand at Trent Bridge was washed out, though they remain in a good position in the race to reach the semi-finals.

Pakistan, by contrast, have managed one win in four outings, while they have never beaten India in six previous World Cup meetings.

Kohli knows an expectant audience, both inside the venue and back home in India, will be watching on, yet called for his players to keep their minds on the job at hand, rather than get carried away by the occasion.

"The fans' point of view is very different," said the India captain. "They should enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the occasion the way they want to and the way it's been enjoyed for years.

"But the players obviously have to maintain the mindset we have for years approaching any kind of game, whether it's India v Pakistan, India v Australia, India v England or South Africa, whoever it is.

"Our mindset remains the same, just to go out there and be professional about our cricket and execute what we're expected to execute, because for us this is a responsibility and people expect us to play a certain way, and that's our focus."

India fielded the same XI in impressive victories over South Africa and Australia but will have to make at least one change this weekend.

Shikhar Dhawan suffered a hairline fracture of his left thumb while making a superb century against Australia at The Oval, meaning KL Rahul is likely to be promoted to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma.

However, Kohli admitted the conditions – showers are forecast during the day, raising the possibility of a shortened match – could lead to further alterations, potentially with the addition of an extra seamer to the bowling attack.

"We have to be flexible," said the batsman.

"We can't be rigid in our approach because if the conditions are very different from what we played in the last game, then we'll have to think of different combinations, which areas to strengthen when it comes to the bowling attack.

"If pace becomes a more important option, then we'll look to explore that. If not, if the length of the game is going to be full and we expect the game to be 50 overs both sides, then we'll probably think of another combination, but we'll have to be flexible.

"We'll have to see how today pans out, how tomorrow the conditions are.

"I think all players are in a zone to be ready to play, so that helps in selecting the combination that you need to, depending on what conditions you're going to face."

Coach Mickey Arthur has told Pakistan to rattle India's top order when the fierce rivals meet at the Cricket World Cup on Sunday.

India are unbeaten at this year's tournament after three fixtures and have never lost a World Cup game to Pakistan, although they were beaten heavily by their neighbours in the 2017 Champions Trophy final in London.

Showers are expected in Manchester with the weather set to have an impact again, India's last match against New Zealand having been rained off.

Pakistan, with one win from their four games, desperately need a victory to boost their qualification chances and Arthur is demanding an aggressive approach in one of sport's biggest fixtures.

"Without wanting to harp too much, that [the Champions Trophy final] was two years ago, but when you get into the Indian top order, you can create a little bit of havoc," he told a news conference.

"There's some fun players all the way down, don't get me wrong, but if you can rattle their top order with the new ball, you certainly have an advantage. That's something that we'll certainly, certainly be trying to work on.

"I'm telling our players in the dressing room, you could be a hero. Your careers are going to be defined by a moment in the game. You do something incredible [against India], you'll be remembered forever.

"Our mantra is how do you want to be remembered? We've got 15 incredible cricketers in that dressing room, and we keep stressing to them, how do you want to be remembered? You're the class of 2019. What are they going to say about you in history?

"And this presents an unbelievable opportunity for these guys to really make a mark."

Shoaib Malik is yet to make an impact in the tournament, scoring only eight runs in his two innings, but Arthur backed the 37-year-old to fire against India.

"I can tell you a guy that's played over 200 ODIs, tomorrow presents a real opportunity for him," Arthur added.

"Shoaib Malik didn't play [against] the West Indies team because of the balance of the team. He batted in the last three overs against England and failed against Australia.

"So to say he's failed, there's not much of a barometer just yet. That will be determined over the next couple of games. What I do know is Shoaib Malik brings a hell of a lot to our dressing room.

"He is an incredible team man. He has incredible skills, and I'm hoping that, on the biggest stage tomorrow, those skills come to the fore.

"Let's not forget - I mentioned it in one of the previous questions - that it's still a fairly young cricket team. Shoaib Malik's experience, Mohammad Hafeez's experience will go a long way out in the middle to help these young boys through it."

India can take a significant step towards the semi-finals by beating fierce rivals Pakistan at the Cricket World Cup on Sunday.

Virat Kohli's side have looked among the strongest in the tournament to date, while Pakistan have improved after a horror show in their opening seven-wicket loss to West Indies.

India and Pakistan have the biggest rivalry in the sport and both teams will be hoping the weather holds out so a full match can be played in front of a packed crowd in Manchester.

Light showers are forecast for a venue where India beat their neighbours by 47 runs in the 1999 World Cup, although it was Pakistan who would go on to reach the final that year before being outplayed by Australia.

Shikhar Dhawan will not be fit for India as he continues to recover from a hand injury, but Rishabh Pant has trained with the team after being flown in to join the squad.

In seeking a first World Cup win in this fixture, Pakistan could be inspired by their performance in the 2017 Champions Trophy final, where they thumped India by 180 runs at The Oval thanks in part to Fakhar Zaman's century.

But it could be the Manchester weather that holds the key to the game, with rain likely to interrupt and perhaps play a major part in the result.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

India have looked strong, justifying their status among the favourites with wins over South Africa and Australia followed by a washout against New Zealand. Rohit Sharma has been in fine form with the bat, his 179 runs putting him among the top scorers at the tournament, while he has passed 50 in each of his last four ODI appearances.

But Pakistan could be facing an early exit as they have only won one of their four matches so far, beating England in a thriller after being rolled over by West Indies, then seeing a fixture with Sri Lanka rained off. No bowler at the World Cup has more than Mohammad Amir's 10 wickets, but he has failed to claim a single victim in four of six previous ODI appearances against India.

WHAT THEY SAID

India captain Kohli: "If we play well, we can beat anyone. Nothing changes according to the opposition. For the players, it is very important to be professional, be it any team you are up against."

Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur: "Obviously, there's a massive hype that's created a lot of the time by the media really. Our guys are prepared. We're ready. We're comfortable that we can get out there and perform, and we are so excited about the opportunity tomorrow."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won all six of their previous Cricket World Cup matches against Pakistan, five of those victories coming having defended a first-innings total.

- Since beating Pakistan at Old Trafford in the 1999 World Cup, India have played just one ODI at the venue in Manchester, losing by three wickets there to England in 2007.

- Kohli is 57 runs away from becoming the ninth player to score 11,000 ODI runs. Sachin Tendulkar currently holds the record for the quickest to reach the milestone at 276 innings; Kohli has played just 221 innings so far.

Virat Kohli is optimistic Shikhar Dhawan still has a part to play in India's quest for Cricket World Cup glory despite suffering a hairline fracture of his left thumb.

Dhawan is expected to miss at least three matches after taking a blow while making a magnificent century in the victory over Australia at The Oval last Sunday.

Rishabh Pant has been called up as cover, but captain Kohli is hopeful we have not seen the last of Dhawan in the tournament.

Speaking after Thursday's match against New Zealand at Trent Bridge was washed out, the skipper said: "Shikhar will be in a plaster for a couple of weeks, we'll assess and see.

"Hopefully he'll be available for the latter half and the semi-finals. He's motivated, we wanted to keep him back."

Kohli felt it was the right decision to call off the match against the Black Caps in a rainy Nottingham.

"It was a sensible decision to not play, given the outfield wasn't fully fit," said Kohli. "One point is not a bad thing for sides that have won all their games so far, so we'll take it."

Kohli is relishing the prospect of facing fierce rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday as India look to take another stride towards the semi-finals.

"For Sunday, we know we're there when it comes to the mindset. It's just about going out there and having a game plan, executing it," he added.

"As soon as you enter the field, it's calm and relaxed. The atmosphere from the outside, for the first time, it's a bit intimidating, but we'll look to execute well.

"It's been competitive for years, it's a marquee event all over the world, an honour to be a part of the big game, which brings out the best in all of us."

India and New Zealand's Cricket World Cup match was abandoned without a ball being bowled on Thursday as the weather caused further disruption. 

Rain throughout the day at Trent Bridge forced the umpires to make the decision to call play off at 15:00 BST.

It is the fourth abandonment at this year's tournament, and the third in four days.

New Zealand are outright leaders on seven points after moving one clear of Australia, while India move third above England, with five points from three matches.

India and New Zealand are ready to put their 100 per cent records on the line on Thursday - but their Cricket World Cup clash could end in soggy fashion at Trent Bridge.

Three straight wins have put New Zealand in a commanding position from which to secure a semi-final place, while India have started with victories over South Africa and Australia.

Yet an inclement forecast suggests the match between the sides risks becoming the latest in this tournament to be washed out, or at least severely hampered by rain.

Black Caps batsman Ross Taylor had an enjoyable spell with Nottinghamshire last season, so on the return to his former home ground he was the ideal candidate to talk about the unpredictability of the British weather.

And that was on Taylor's mind when he arrived in the country with the New Zealand squad, figuring how the World Cup might play out.

"I said at the start of the tournament that luck is going to play a part," Taylor said. "England is a beautiful place, but it's not famous for good weather."

Paceman Tim Southee comes back into contention for New Zealand after missing the early stages of the tournament with a calf complaint.

For India, KL Rahul is set to be pushed up the order to open in place of Shikhar Dhawan, whose satisfaction at making a century against Australia at The Oval last time out was tempered by a thumb injury that looks set to force him out of at least three matches. Vijay Shankar could come in to the middle order.

TOURNAMENT SO FAR

New Zealand have beaten Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan so far. India present a greater threat than those early opponents, with both teams hopeful of a deep run in the tournament. India have taken the greater scalps in Australia and South Africa so will look to make another major statement if the rain holds off.

WHAT THEY SAID

New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor: "I could mention five or six teams that I think are playing really well, but at the end of the day, we're three for three. Very happy with where we've placed, but we know we've got some bigger challenges ahead the next couple of weeks."

India batting coach Sanjay Bangar, on Rahul moving up the order: "The advantages of playing in various situations is that you understand the game a lot better. If you're a top-order batsman and you get to bat in the middle order, then you get to know the challenges faced by the middle order. So if a player is able to do that - and if you look across the history of the game, players have been very versatile, and here if you can take his namesake Rahul Dravid back at the various positions - it helped the team big time."

OPTA FACTS

- India have won six of their last seven ODIs against New Zealand, including a 35-run victory when they met in February this year – their most recent clash.

- This will be the eighth meeting between India and New Zealand at the World Cup, with six of their previous seven encounters being won by the chasing side on the day. India won three times, New Zealand four.

- New Zealand have won 11 of their last 12 World Cup fixtures - the exception being their loss in the 2015 final - and their last three victories have all come after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.

- Virat Kohli is 57 runs away from becoming the ninth player to score 11,000 ODI runs, Sachin Tendulkar currently holds the record for being the quickest to reach the milestone at 276 innings, Kohli has played just 221 innings so far.

The West Indies will begin their bid to become World Test champions when they host India for five weeks starting in August.

India are likely to be without star opener Shikhar Dhawan for their next three Cricket World Cup fixtures, as he continues his recovery from a thumb injury.

Dhawan sustained the blow during India's 36-run victory over Australia on Sunday, though the issue did not prevent him carrying on his innings as he went on to score 117 off 109 balls.

However, the 33-year-old did not come out to field, and India announced on Tuesday that Dhawan would stay in England to be monitored by the team's medical staff.

And it has now been confirmed Dhawan will miss at least two of India's upcoming fixtures – against New Zealand and Pakistan – while he is also a doubt to face Afghanistan on June 22, with batting coach Sanjay Bangar revealing the left-hander will be under assessment for the next 10 to 12 days.

"As far as Shikhar is concerned, we'll be observing him," Bangar told a news conference ahead of Thursday's game against New Zealand at Trent Bridge.

"Around the 10th or 12th day, we'll get to know where he stands, and we'll be in a better position to take a call because we don't want to rule out a precious player like Shikhar.

"We're straight at the time of when the impact or the injury happened, so we would like to wait and assess after 10, 12 days."

On Wednesday, India confirmed Rishabh Pant had been called up to be on standby should Dhawan be unable to take any further part in the tournament.

KL Rahul, meanwhile, will move up the order, with Bangar touting Vijay Shankar as a viable alternative as well.

"As far as the batting order goes, yes, KL moves up at the top of the order, and there are various options the team management can utilise going into the next game," Bangar added.

"Obviously, Vijay is going to be an option, and there are a couple of others as well."

India have called for Rishabh Pant to provide cover for Shikhar Dhawan after the opening batsman suffered a Cricket World Cup injury blow.

Dhawan made a brilliant century in the victory over holders Australia at The Oval on Sunday but was unable to field after being struck on the thumb while batting.

With uncertainty over how long Dhawan will be out of action, wicketkeeper-batsman Pant will fly to England.

Pant will be on standby in case powerful left-hander Dhawan can play no further part in the tournament.

A BCCI statement released on Tuesday said: "Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team.

"The team management has decided that Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored."

India have announced Shikhar Dhawan will remain in England as their medical team continue to monitor the thumb injury he suffered in the win over Australia on Sunday.

Opening batsman Dhawan was struck on his left hand by a delivery from Pat Cummins in the early stages of the Cricket World Cup clash at The Oval, though the blow did not stop him continuing his innings.

The left-hander went on to make 117, helping India amass 352-5 after opting to bat first, but did not field in the second half of the fixture, watching on from the dressing room as Australia were bowled out for 316 in reply.

Reports in the media have suggested a suspected hairline fracture and while the team have yet to confirm the full extent of the damage, the Board of Control for Cricket in India did offer an update via Twitter on Tuesday.

"Team India opening batsman Mr Shikhar Dhawan is presently under the observation of the BCCI medical team," they wrote in a post that also included a picture of Dhawan celebrating reaching 50 against Australia.

"The team management has decided that Mr Dhawan will continue to be in England and his progress will be monitored."

India are next in action on Thursday, as they face New Zealand at Trent Bridge in a battle between two teams who still own 100 per cent records at this year's tournament.

Virat Kohli's side then take on Pakistan at Old Trafford on Sunday, though they may have to do without Dhawan for at least the next two games.

If Australia go on to retain their crown at the Cricket World Cup, Sunday's defeat to India may prove to be a blessing in disguise for Aaron Finch's team

The reigning champions were put to the sword in the first innings at The Oval, where opener Shikhar Dhawan's century and 82 from captain Virat Kohli helped India reach a daunting 352-5.

With Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc blunted up front, the rest of Australia's bowlers were unable to contain, let alone pose a threat. There were two late wickets for all-rounder Marcus Stoinis, but they came too late to make a difference.

Yet despite the attack going at a combined economy rate in excess of seven runs per over, it was the Australian run chase that was the major talking point in the aftermath.

David Warner and Steve Smith hit half-centuries, while skipper Finch and Usman Khawaja also made contributions. However, none of the top four were able to copy Dhawan's example, failing to turn what were promising starts into a meaningful score their team desperately needed.

In getting out when seemingly in, they left their middle-order colleagues too much work to do. If the plan all along was to set up the innings for a big finish, they drifted further away from the script each time a wicket was lost.

Glenn Maxwell tried his best, hitting 28 off 14 deliveries, and Alex Carey smashed his country's fastest ever World Cup half-century, but it was all in vain. They were bowled out from the final ball of the 50th over, 36 runs short.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan branded Australia's batting "dated play" on Twitter. Kevin Pietersen went even stronger in his appraisal, describing the innings as a "horror", followed by an emoji that made his overall thoughts absolutely clear.

The defeat was Australia's first in 11 ODIs but, having climbed off the canvas from 38-4 to beat West Indies last week at Trent Bridge, they went too far the other way.

The usually-aggressive Warner faced 84 deliveries to make 56. Finch, Smith and Khawaja, who came in at four, went along at closer to a run-a-ball rate, yet it was not until Maxwell and Carey arrived at the crease that India sensed any danger.

When asked whether there was any talk in the dressing room of sending him in earlier, Carey understandably voiced support for his top-order team-mates.

"There was no talk of that," the wicketkeeper-batsman - who ended up unbeaten on 55 from 35 balls - said.

"With Steve Smith on 60, David Warner on 50 and Usman Khawaja, who has just had an amazing series against India, to come, plus Marcus Stoinis' power hitting, there are so many options.

"We trust the batters and the order we've got. Unfortunately, we were probably chasing a few too many. We had a good shake at it, but it was for one of the top four to push through and make a big score."

Yet Carey would have been ideal for a promotion, sent in with the sole aim of putting the brakes on a required rate that was moving in the wrong direction as far as Australia were concerned.

So what about the make-up of the team moving forward? Taunton is the next stop on the World Cup tour, as they take on Pakistan on Wednesday.

Cummins and Starc can only bowl 20 overs. The drop-off to Coulter-Nile and Stoinis is considerable, yet the pair have all-round value. The seam bowlers outside of the XI - Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson - may offer more with the ball but cannot be relied on to contribute runs. Lengthening the tail is a dangerous tactic, an all-in policy that could result in going bust.

Likewise, Nathan Lyon would be a like-for-like change for Adam Zampa; they are both frontline spinners, the former arguably more reliable without offering as much in terms of variation, not known for their one-day batting exploits.

Shaun Marsh, meanwhile, is the spare batsman. The left-hander hardly offers much of a variation on Khawaja, the one surely most at risk of losing his spot.

With alternative batting options somewhat limited, Australia either have to shuffle the deck or hope one of their leading lights – particularly Warner, who has spluttered along at a strike-rate of 71.8 runs per 100 deliveries so far at the World Cup, a number lower than his career mark in Tests (74.50) – finds another gear.

Either way, Australia may have to consider changes if they want to retain their title.

Yuvraj Singh's esteemed international career has come to an end after the India all-rounder announced his retirement on Monday.

The 37-year-old was best known for his tournament-winning turn at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, but bows out with a record rounded across all formats.

A star both with bat and with ball, Yuvraj made history in India colours.

Following news of his decision, with the help of Opta, we take a look at the key numbers behind his India career.

301 - Playing 304 ODIs in total, Yuvraj appeared 301 times for India in the format. He is sixth on the all-time appearance list for his country.

8609 - Only six India players have scored more ODI runs for their country than Yuvraj's 8609.

40 - Yuvraj also played 40 Tests, scoring 1900 runs.

58 - He made 58 T20I appearances, making 1177 runs in the shortest format.

169 - The biggest knock of Yuvraj's international career came in a drawn 2007 Test against Pakistan

12 - Yuvraj hit the fastest T20 half-century against England in 2007, needing just 12 balls. That effort has since been matched by Chris Gayle and Hazratullah Zazai, but those knocks were not at international level.

- That stunning innings against England included six sixes from a Stuart Broad over, becoming the first player to achieve that feat in a T20 International.

Explosive India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has given bowlers the world over nightmares in a magnificent career.

There would be more than a few who breathed a sigh of relief when the 37-year-old retired from international cricket on Monday.

Yuvraj has also decided to call time on his participation in the Indian Premier League, stating that he wants to "have some fun" playing without so much pressure on his shoulders.

We look back at some of the highlights of the clean-striking left-hander's career, which he resumed at the highest level after bravely winning a battle with cancer.

 

Maiden Test ton against Pakistan

Yuvraj scored a maiden Test century in only his third appearance in the longest format.

What made his brilliant knock of 112 extra special was that it came against fierce rivals Pakistan in Lahore back in April 2004.

He struck two sixes and 15 fours against an attack that was spearheaded by Shoaib Akhtar and although Pakistan won by nine wickets, Yuvraj had certainly announced himself on the Test stage.

 

Six sixes in an over en route to World T20 triumph

There will be no bowler with worse memories of charging in at Yuvraj than Stuart Broad.

The England paceman was hit for six sixes in an over by the India star at Kingsmead in the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa 12 years ago.

Yuvraj brought up a brutal half-century in only 12 balls - a T20 international record that still stands - and India went on to win the title by beating Pakistan.

 

Inspires World Cup triumph on home soil

There was more international glory for India in 2011, thanks in no small part to Yuvraj.

He was named man of the tournament after inspiring a World Cup triumph in a showpiece that was stage in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

The Chandigarh native made a hundred against West Indies, four half-centuries and took 15 wickets, picking up four man-of-the-match awards in a tournament India won by beating Sri Lanka in the final in Mumbai.

 

Beats cancer to make 'emotional' India return

Yuvraj was diagnosed with cancer in the same year that he lifted the World Cup on home soil.

He completed three rounds of chemotherapy in the United States in 2012 and incredibly made an international comeback later in the year.

Yuvraj raced to a typically brisk 34 in a T20 encounter with New Zealand in September and described his return as "a big emotional moment".

 

Career-best demolition of England silences critics

Yuvraj's place in the India ODI side had been called into question before he silenced his critics with a vintage innings against England in Cuttack in 2017.

He smashed 150 from 127 deliveries, a career-best in the 50-over format, and MS Dhoni also cut loose as India racked up 381-6 and went on to win by 15 runs.

Yuvraj rolled back the years with an exhilarating masterclass, hitting three sixes and 21 fours.

India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has announced his retirement from international cricket and the IPL at the age of 37.

Yuvraj played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs and 58 T20Is in all, playing starring roles at the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007 and then the Cricket World Cup four years later.

India triumphed on both occasions, with Yuvraj making decisive contributions with both bat and ball, but he is best known for his efforts in 2011, which saw him named the tournament's best player.

He had not played for his country since June 2017, though, and has decided to call time on his career on the international and IPL stages.

"I have decided to move on," he told reporters in Mumbai on Monday.

Pakistan face two huge matches at the Cricket World Cup this week, including a meeting with their biggest rivals.

Having upset England, Pakistan saw their match against Sri Lanka abandoned, making their potential passage to the semi-finals more difficult.

They will face two big tests this week, firstly against Australia, before taking on India in a highly anticipated clash in Manchester.

Omnisport takes a look at what the next week has in store, along with the standings and key statistics from the tournament to date.

 

FIXTURES

Monday 10 June: South Africa v West Indies (Rose Bowl, Southampton) - 1030 BST start

Tuesday 11 June: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka (County Ground, Bristol) - 1030

Wednesday 12 June: Australia v Pakistan (County Ground, Taunton) - 1030

Thursday 13 June: India v New Zealand (Trent Bridge, Nottingham) - 1030

Friday 14 June: England v West Indies (Rose Bowl, Southampton) - 1030

Saturday 15 June: Sri Lanka v Australia (The Oval, London) - 1030, South Africa v Afghanistan (Sophia Gardens, Cardiff) - 1330

Sunday 16 June: India v Pakistan (Old Trafford, Manchester) - 1030

 

THE WEEK'S BIG GAME

The end of the week is promising to provide one of the biggest matches of the tournament. Rivals India and Pakistan will meet at Old Trafford in Manchester in what looks like a blockbuster encounter. While both will undoubtedly want a win, it could be nearing desperation time for Pakistan, who have one victory from three games and also face Australia this week.

STANDINGS

1. New Zealand - 6pts from 3 games, Net Run Rate +2.163
2. England - 4pts from 3 games, NRR +1.307
3. India - 4pts from 2 games, NRR +0.539
4. Australia - 4pts from 3 games, NRR +0.483
5. Sri Lanka - 3pts from 3 games, NRR -1.517
6. Pakistan - 3pts from 3 games, NRR -2.412
7. West Indies - 2pts from 2 games, NRR +2.054
8. Bangladesh - 2pts from 3 games, NRR -0.714
9. South Africa - 0pts from 3 games, NRR -0.952
10. Afghanistan - 0pts from 3 games, NRR -1.493

 

LEADING RUN-SCORERS

1: Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) - 260
2: Jason Roy (Eng) - 215
3: Jos Buttler (Eng) - 185

 

LEADING WICKET-TAKERS

1: Lockie Ferguson (NZ) - 8
=2: Matt Henry (NZ), Mitchell Starc (Aus) - 7

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