Saad Shafqat March 29, 2011

The ultimate cricket contest

Both teams have their raw sporting assets, but everybody knows this is a contest that is going to be won or lost in the head
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An India-Pakistan semi-final [in a World Cup] has never happened before and is unlikely to happen again for at least another generation. On the basis of rarity alone, therefore, this would be an encounter to cherish. But the matter goes well beyond the obvious.

Sports ultimately are a form of make-believe, but here we have a sporting rivalry with roots so deep that it is no longer clear which is the genuine conflict and which is the proxy. If you took a survey of Indians and Pakistanis today, they will not be clear whether it is more important to defeat your neighbour in cricket or war. Quite likely, a majority will prefer victory in cricket. To this extent, the goal of any cricket diplomacy has already been achieved.

Both teams have their raw sporting assets, but everybody knows this is a contest that is going to be won or lost in the head. Pakistan is a team that in recent times has been punched in the face, kicked in the ribs, slapped around, and spat upon which means they now have almost nothing to lose. This gives them an edge in fearlessness. India, on the other hand, are riding a tidal wave of support and popularity, which means they have already secured the upper hand. This gives them an edge in confidence.

In terms of skill and tactics, you could not have asked for a more tantalising contrast. Indian and Pakistani cricket traditions are products of the same soil, but over the decades, India became a nation of great batsmen while Pakistan became a nation of great bowlers. How and why this happened is a mystery, although theories abound and the topic is a staple of Asian cricket discussions.

In this tournament alone, Pakistani bowlers restricted Australia to 176 and West Indies to 112, when the same teams racked up an additional 70-80 runs each against Indian bowlers. Moreover, the combined economy rate of Pakistan's four most economical bowlers is 3.57 runs per over, while for India the corresponding figure is nearly an extra run per over higher at 4.53. To drive this point home, Indians have bowled only 7 maidens in the tournament thus far while Pakistanis have bowled 24.

On the batting side, Pakistan have crossed 300 only once so far, and that too against Kenya, when India have exceeded 300 against two Test sides (England and Bangladesh) and very nearly did it against a third (South Africa). Moreover, Pakistan has yet to record a century in this tournament, while India has already notched up five. Perhaps most impressively, the strike rate of India's top four run-getters ranges from 86 to 121, while for Pakistan the corresponding range is a clear rung slower at 73 to 84.

What we have coming up in Mohali, therefore, is in some ways the ultimate cricket contest: a side that knows the craft of delivering a ball pitting its wits against an outfit that knows it way with a bat; in a knockout encounter where the context is influenced by history, culture, politics, and God knows what else; and whose stakes circumstances have pushed impossibly high.

India have a perfect 4-0 record against Pakistan in World Cup matches, but in the 2011 edition Pakistan have thus far enjoyed a better run, topping their group with five wins, while India came second in their group with four wins and a tie. Even against Australia and West Indies, the two sides in this competition that India and Pakistan have both faced, Pakistan's wins were by bigger margins than India's. Despite these differences, Pakistan are the underdogs for Mohali. This may irk their fans, who are craving momentum and hype, but it probably suits the team just fine.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere in Pakistan is tense and anxious. A cardiologist friend of mine says the stress of unblocking coronary arteries in the middle of someone's heart attack is nothing compared with the anxiety he is feeling in the build-up to Mohali. A neurosurgeon friend, whose professional work requires opening skulls to repair diseased brains, made a similar observation. Even people who’ve never paid much attention to cricket are reporting butterflies in the stomach. They may sound silly and frivolous to an outsider, but many Indians and Pakistanis will identify with these confessions.

Coming into the semi-final, Pakistan have skilfully negotiated several challenging hurdles. Handicapped by an ineffective opening pair, an unreliable wicket-keeper, and the absence of their two best seamers, they have made the most of the hand that was dealt. A grand treasure beckons in the distance, but Afridi and his men find themselves separated from it by impossibly treacherous terrain. They are in a zone where the tactical guide goes out the window and survival instincts must take over. Many people are saying it doesn’t get better than this in cricket, but it could be persuasively argued that it doesn’t get better, period.

Saad Shafqat is a writer based in Karachi

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Susannah on January 26, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Boy that raelly helps me the heck out.

  • mohammed riaz on March 30, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    A cardiologist and neurosurgeon amongst your friends!!pity the poor journo who has to resort to name dropping!1 try to get some normal friends where they say "my journalist" friend...

  • Ahmed on March 30, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    A skillful piece of writing Dr. Shafqat. You make us, all the AKU alumni, very proud :)

  • Ravi Shastri on March 30, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    I have to admit it. Pakistan is sending shivers down my spinal cord. They will take the cup and we'll be left with memories only!!!

  • jigo on March 30, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    liked 2nd last para

  • Anonymous on March 30, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    pakistan's end in the world cup 2011 saga.....

  • Harsh Thakor on March 30, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Pakistan have the 51-49 edge as they posess a far more lethal pace attack in a tournament where the bowling has been a more influencing factor than the batting.Pakistan also has superior mental strength and killer instinct and the Mohali wicket will suit them more than India.The Mohali pitch will aid the seamers more than the spinners which would assist Pakistan .India has the best of batting line ups but lacks and effective bowling combination.I would back Paksiatn to chase a 300+ total with their agressive batsman.Above all Pakistan is the ultimate team to play as 'tigers' when labelled 'dark horses.'

  • danny rahmatullah on March 30, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    greatest matchup ever in cricketing world's history,even the final match will not bring the excitement this semi-final has already brought and at match time ------- can't even imagine!GOOD LUCK to both,may the best win.

  • Fozan on March 30, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    A great insight from Dr. Saad Shafqat who himself is neuro doctor, and has correctly identified the sub continental symptoms :)

  • Fozan on March 30, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    A great insight from Dr. Saad Shafqat who himself is neuro doctor, and has correctly identified the sub continental symptoms :)

  • Susannah on January 26, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Boy that raelly helps me the heck out.

  • mohammed riaz on March 30, 2011, 8:00 GMT

    A cardiologist and neurosurgeon amongst your friends!!pity the poor journo who has to resort to name dropping!1 try to get some normal friends where they say "my journalist" friend...

  • Ahmed on March 30, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    A skillful piece of writing Dr. Shafqat. You make us, all the AKU alumni, very proud :)

  • Ravi Shastri on March 30, 2011, 6:30 GMT

    I have to admit it. Pakistan is sending shivers down my spinal cord. They will take the cup and we'll be left with memories only!!!

  • jigo on March 30, 2011, 5:59 GMT

    liked 2nd last para

  • Anonymous on March 30, 2011, 5:05 GMT

    pakistan's end in the world cup 2011 saga.....

  • Harsh Thakor on March 30, 2011, 5:02 GMT

    Pakistan have the 51-49 edge as they posess a far more lethal pace attack in a tournament where the bowling has been a more influencing factor than the batting.Pakistan also has superior mental strength and killer instinct and the Mohali wicket will suit them more than India.The Mohali pitch will aid the seamers more than the spinners which would assist Pakistan .India has the best of batting line ups but lacks and effective bowling combination.I would back Paksiatn to chase a 300+ total with their agressive batsman.Above all Pakistan is the ultimate team to play as 'tigers' when labelled 'dark horses.'

  • danny rahmatullah on March 30, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    greatest matchup ever in cricketing world's history,even the final match will not bring the excitement this semi-final has already brought and at match time ------- can't even imagine!GOOD LUCK to both,may the best win.

  • Fozan on March 30, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    A great insight from Dr. Saad Shafqat who himself is neuro doctor, and has correctly identified the sub continental symptoms :)

  • Fozan on March 30, 2011, 4:23 GMT

    A great insight from Dr. Saad Shafqat who himself is neuro doctor, and has correctly identified the sub continental symptoms :)

  • mike ramlogan on March 30, 2011, 3:39 GMT

    my brother is the attorney general from trinidad annand ramlogan and he love to see a good fight.he wants me to chant and not be in maya. I back india all the way. i am a hare krsna devotee but got to see this match sorry lord krsna.

  • Abbas on March 30, 2011, 3:36 GMT

    Agree with you...India looks favorate but Pakistan will break the history again as they did by beating the Mighty Austrilians thus Pakistan win in this match will also break India 4-0 record in worldcup matches. InshAllah

  • Nadia on March 30, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    Great article. Would like to see a post-match piece from this writer :-)

  • ZAFAR MOHAMMAD on March 30, 2011, 2:58 GMT

    A well written article by a cricketer turned doctor. Purgation of emotions is a natural phenomena. Such matches provide a chance to people to release their unspent emotions.Cardiologist or neuro surgeons are also human and thus they feel butterflies in their tummies. Operating patients is the norm for them therefore that is stress free.The large number of medical consultants stealing time to catch up with the latest score does indicate their source of stress. It is not the patient but the fear of unknown. Who will win? National feelings, biased attitudes do not influence the outcome of a match but what matters is how you perform. So let us give an excellent performance and success is not far away! Good luck to both the teams

  • Deepu on March 30, 2011, 2:23 GMT

    Fantastic contest between two long term rivals. Despite the `play down' by both captains, this game is of mammoth proportions and will set the stage for the final too. The winner of this contest will go ahead to lift the world cup. In the end, `Captain COOOOOL - Dhoni' and his troops will prevail. I truly hope this will be a fantastic contest. Expect India to bat first, put a score in excess of 350 on the board and skittle the Pakistans, out for under 200. GO INDIA - JAI HIND !

  • Sajjad on March 30, 2011, 0:24 GMT

    5.22 am in karachi,butterflies in tummy,no sleep,the longest night of my life so far,have read all the articles seen all the hype and cannot belive its still 8 hours away...may the best team win.

  • arjun on March 30, 2011, 0:11 GMT

    A very sensible write up. The fans on both sides are very tense and anxious and, sometimes, this leads them to become abusive. And that is really sad. After all, it is just a game and the better side on the given day will win. As for myself, I have the greatest respect for Pakistani side. They are a formidable side to play against.

    I am sure many Indians join me in assuring you that Pakistanis are our friends and brothers/sisters; we harbour no ill will against the people of Pakistan, whichever way the game goes.

  • Narsima Rao on March 30, 2011, 0:07 GMT

    Both indians and pakistanis have anticipated that both teams will face each other. What makes this a fierce competetion is neither the people nor the teams want to loose this match to one another. If both teams cross 300+, I guess both are winners. Good luck teams.

  • Shahid on March 29, 2011, 23:41 GMT

    I think the favorite tag for India is not justified. They may have a better batting line but when its about playing only 50 overs than Pakistan has enough fire power to match them. Even there is no century from Pakistan side, it will be enough if 3 of them make half centuries. If Razzaq or Afridi fire then India can already say goodbye to it. I believe in the old saying that bowling wins matches. I hope Kamran has a better day tomorrow.

  • Manny on March 29, 2011, 22:37 GMT

    It will be an extremely important match. Can't wait to watch it! Common India make it 5-0

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 21:34 GMT

    amazing article! a really good read, as well as thoughtful analysis

  • Masood Sharif on March 29, 2011, 21:26 GMT

    This game should have been played at a neutral venue like Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. A home match is a clear advantage to India.

  • Adnan Malik on March 29, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    great article!

  • sàad on March 29, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    Great article. Wish team Pakistan all the best.

  • Eagle on March 29, 2011, 19:52 GMT

    Good luck Pakistani Eagles!

  • Farhan Anis on March 29, 2011, 19:51 GMT

    Dr. Sahab very well put. It is just so much more than cricket, so it just doesn't get better! Am confused, whether to go to my event being held in Expo Centre tomorrow or go out with friends and enjoy the andrenaline rush!

  • Shouldas – Wouldas - Couldas on March 29, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    "The Match" What a moment ! Despite being “JUST A CRICKET MATCH”, I doubt if the cric. fans of sub-continent will ever experience anything of this magnitude in their life time again ! The euphoria/hype generated by electronic & print media is emotionally overwhelming. Billions of fans are buzzing, the atmosphere is electric - amazing feeling ! Team Pakistan is in “DEVASTATING FORM” and lets hope that Indian team live up to their fan’s expections and try best to make match of it – at least. Added spice is that even the GODS are smiling ( Its raining in Mohali ) !!!

    Jawed, Karachi

  • Wachucha on March 29, 2011, 19:00 GMT

    This world cup has now rightly turned into Asia cup. Regardless of outcome of tomorrows match a large number of non Asian fans maintain their interest in the cup only because Pakistan is still there. For one my team is gone home but Im following the remaining games supporting Pakistan team which deserves much more appreciation than it is getting from ICC these days.

  • N Diego on March 29, 2011, 18:51 GMT

    Great article, being underdog is alright as we all know what this Pakistan team is capable off. Lets hope to have a great contest and may the team that works harder then the other win. Good luck to both teams.

  • PakFan2011 on March 29, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    I live more than 10,000 miles from the subcontinent where the hype I assume is too surreal but even here in US everyone who even have a slight affiliation with the two respective countries are talking about this epic encounter. May the best team that performs well in the field win tomorrow – I hope that to be the Pakistan Team.

  • WAQAS on March 29, 2011, 18:37 GMT

    PAKISTAN WILL WIN

  • Nani on March 29, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    India should win

  • Syed on March 29, 2011, 18:24 GMT

    Butterflies in stomach!? I have them in brain, lungs, intestines, Liver and everywhere.. I want this Wednesday to come, and go. So i can start preparing for my exam on Monday. Keep thinking about the match & going through cricinfo with books open on the table !!

  • Yogesh Kamat on March 29, 2011, 18:23 GMT

    interesting article... again focussing on the age-old discussion about India's batting pitted against the opponents bowling.. of course in case of Pakistan, its always been their bowling... but right through the article and many more on this topic, it seems India's victory has been taken for granted to a certain extent... Pakistan is at their frightening best when they are not counted for.. so beware.. rest assured we have a killer on our hands.. May the "better ranked team in the ICC rankings" win.. :)

  • Yasir Khalid on March 29, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Great article. Completely showing how this match is hanging evenly across the border yet India are favorites due to history. As an avid cricket follower and an even more avid Pakistani fan, I would always hope for a Pakistani win at the end of the day. But I would ask for nothing other than Pakistan playing their hearts out to win over the opponent's respect even if they lose. InshaAllah Pakistan can do it.

  • mety from brum on March 29, 2011, 18:17 GMT

    I really believe that the pakistan team that comes out on the field against India will be way to strong both in terms of skill and mental strenth. The spinners will take care of the indian batting line up and the pak batsmen will just about do enough to cross the winning line. What my parting line to all pak fans will be sit back and enjoy the ride as we will surely be victorious inshallah

  • Abhimanyu on March 29, 2011, 18:15 GMT

    I wonder where is Parveen Kumar??? He was selected for the 15 member world cup squad but then was replaced by Sreesanth due to an injured elbow. But he should be fit by now since it has been more than 3 months when he got injured before the start of the one-day series in South Africa. I think everyone has forgotten him, he has been the leading wicket taker for India in the he past couple of years. Why not bring him back to support Zaheer Khan and strengthen the fast bowling attack, which is the only weakness in this Indian team.

  • amar on March 29, 2011, 18:08 GMT

    I predict Pakistan going into the Finals with Sri Lanka

  • Yasir Mughal on March 29, 2011, 17:49 GMT

    An awesome article Sir, hats off! It really doesn't get any bigger...

  • Mr. Khan on March 29, 2011, 17:48 GMT

    It will be really a tight match, but ofcourse India is gonna crush the Pakistan by the batting skills and Zaheer khan will take out atleast 3.

  • Vijay C on March 29, 2011, 17:43 GMT

    Why do I feel...one team is going to cave in because of pressure and all the audience will be left wondering at 6pm on 30th March..."what the heck happened to all the hype"...:)

  • Umair on March 29, 2011, 17:30 GMT

    Nice article. Not bias to anyone. Had fun reading

  • avinash on March 29, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    very decent analysis of the semi final..but the stats that have been mentioned are a result of the venues..had pakistan played more matches in india they would have had more runs under their belt and vice verse...

  • Muddassir Malik on March 29, 2011, 17:13 GMT

    Well, a great article. of course this match means a lot to both the teams in fact to both the nations.PM of Pakistan has just announced a public half day holiday in Pakistan too and my friends in India are looking for the excuses to make to their employers so they could watch this match. Who so ever win but this this match as an ordinary match. Both the teams are really good but only one has to win so in case if your side loses the match, please don't take that seriously. This is a request from the people of Pakistan and India.

  • Desihungama on March 29, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    India became a nation of great batsmen while Pakistan became a nation of great bowlers. How and why this happened is a mystery, is not a mystery. In India, Cricket is a popular urban sport whereas in Pakistan it is the only sport played even in the rural areas. Popular areas produce good batsmen but genuine bowling talents usually come from rural.

  • agm on March 29, 2011, 16:16 GMT

    The statistics used to show that this is a contest between Indian batting and Pakistani bowling are slightly misleading without mentioning the important point that India has played its matches on largely high-scoring batting pitches and Pakistan its on largely low-scoring bowling pitches.

    I actually don't think India's bowling is much behind Pakistan's on paper, and similarly Pakistan's batting is not much behind India's.

    Hence, as Saad says, this one will be won in the mind.

    Meanwhile, I'm not sure I like the tendency to paint Pakistani cricket as some sort of 'victim': "kicked", "punched", "spat". Any rational person would agree that, after what happened at Lahore, cricket in Pakistan was going to stop for a while. I don't think any country wants to deliberately hurt Pakistani cricket.

  • Suny on March 29, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    There is nothing called underdogs in cricket. On their day any team can beat any one. Refer to how both these teams got creamed in 2007 WC. As you said, the game will be won or lost in the head.

  • Irshad on March 29, 2011, 16:01 GMT

    A great article and an excellent comparison of each team's win in this world cup. Hope the best team wins. If Pakistan doesn't win, fans should not get emotional and start thrashing the player's or their homes. After all it is a game, and Afridi delivered what he said before the tournament began.

  • faheem zuberi on March 29, 2011, 15:59 GMT

    Whatever people might say about Pakistan but for they r more mentally strong thn indians just coz wha they hve been through in last 7/8 months and leaving out 5/6 its main players in written it might sound nuthing but to a team n its supporters go thrugh hell like ths and hn reach into the final shws beleve n mental strenght of a THE TEAM and its Supporters......Gud Luck Pakistan "

  • Shahid on March 29, 2011, 15:51 GMT

    My neices were born and brought up abroad and although they do wear shalwar kameez at weddings and other desi gatherings, over the years what has annoyed me is their disassociation to the homeland i love although i have also lived here in the states for last 11 years. Everytime there would be a game my neices would be like "Mamoon, it is just a game". Last night one of them called me and said "she will be fasting in order for Pakistan to win". Her younger sister made fun of her and she simply replied "you cried when celtics (although she doesn't even know a thing about basket ball) lost last year and that was just celtics, this is Pakistan". Today i realized after all its not just a game. No matter what happesn during this game but it has brought a lot of Pakistanis together. Long live the greatest country. May both countries live in peace and prosperity.

  • paramvir saini on March 29, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    Pakistan has agression and India has technique, capability and manpower well behaved to tackle pace.

  • ZAFAR MOHAMMAD on March 29, 2011, 15:27 GMT

    This is a very well written article. The point is that leading cardiologists and neuro surgeons are so short of real excitement in real lives that an Indo=Pak match is the best way to Katharsis ( purgation of emotions) as in this suffocation surroundings there are no emotional outlets. Both teams are quoting history, stats, and performances but remember that cricket is by chance. The one who grabs the chances will win even the Greek and Roman gods may find it difficult to suggest a winner before the last ball is bowled and tdhat the beauty of cricket

  • NKadak on March 29, 2011, 15:21 GMT

    Huge!! Can't Wait!!

  • qrk on March 29, 2011, 15:18 GMT

    me tto having a swarm of butterflies in my stomach... i hope i dont have an heart attack...

  • Muhammad Owais on March 29, 2011, 15:16 GMT

    Good Article and analysis of both teams strengths done in good style. However, in my opinion the match will depend on the weaknesses of both the teams i.e. Batting for Pakistan and Bowling for India. The team who does well with its weakness will win the match.

  • Bamarolls on March 29, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    While I get the point you are trying to make about relative batting prowess vs. batting prowess of the two brotherly nations, yet I consider it a grave injustice to ignore likes of Kapil Dev - most wickets in history of Test for some time, Anil Kumble's record of wickets and match wilnning performances; Hanif Mohammed - first little Master of the continent with 970-minute 337* in Bridgetown in 1957-58, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad...

  • Nadeem Khan on March 29, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    Excellent work Saad... Today, I read three of the best articles on cricinfo: the other two from Osman and Shardha.

  • Jaz on March 29, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    "A cardiologist friend of mine says the stress of unblocking coronary arteries in the middle of someone's heart attack is nothing compared with the anxiety he is feeling in the build-up to Mohali. A neurosurgeon friend, whose professional work requires opening skulls to repair diseased brains, made a similar observation. Even people who’ve never paid much attention to cricket are reporting butterflies in the stomach."

    I can sympathise with this completely! I'm a medical student with finals in less than a month, yet all I can think about is this epic clash tomorrow!

  • HM Paswal on March 29, 2011, 14:41 GMT

    All this hype is non-sense if you ask me. Let Cricket be a sport not a war. Both nations need to tone down the nationalist ferver and act responsibly. All this unease may indicate deep rooted mistrust and hatred of each other. Come on people it is just a game.

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 14:40 GMT

    I frankly want a four match test series between India and Pakistan just like The Ashes.

  • Milind Jadhav on March 29, 2011, 14:35 GMT

    Like the way you have presented the case...the fever has caught on and I am praying that we have a nail biter and not a lopsided affair. The war in the cyber space has produced some excellent exchanges but some nasties too but I guess thats the fun element of all India-Pak encounters. May the best team win.

  • Khalid Khwaja on March 29, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Saad, always enjoy your writing and how you capture the moment, the sentiment

  • R on March 29, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    Very good analysis captured in your article. I agree with you on India having an upper edge on this match against Pakistan. Pakistani top scorer in this tournament comes just below Indian 5th top order. In fact even if Indian team won against Pakistan it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary, they have done that before many times. Having a strong bowling attack can’t save Pakistani team if their performance in Batting is very weak. Against Aussie, it was difficult for Pak batsmen to achieve such small score. The odds are in Indian favor, but on the other hand Pakistani team has nothing to lose, as a fellow Pakistani; I do realize that Indian team is much stronger compare to Pakistan. No matter how much we say that we will beat India but in reality it’s quite difficult. May the best team win, and off course I will surely cheer for my boyss.

  • Kamal Bhavsar on March 29, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    I think you have a short memory. India and Pakistan played smefinal in 2003 at Southafrica, which India won.

  • Aamir Malik on March 29, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Thx for a nice post, i m realy tense over here too, I would't mind if pakistan loose the match as the worst but it should be like the champions after all 1 team to have loose

  • sujitvenu on March 29, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    The team that holds on to its nerves would prevail.... I doubt if all this media hype is doing any good to India.. I think it would boil down to Indian batting making the difference... bowling would more or less concede 260-270 any how

  • Sally on March 29, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Very well written Dr. Shafqat!

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Excellent areticle! Keep it up Shafqat!!.

  • Vinod on March 29, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Hi Saad, I accept that Pakistan's win against WI was bigger than India but India won by 5 wickets whereas Pakistan won by 4 wickets that too chasing a small total (176 vs 260). Howvever, I do agree that it is going to be a fascinating contest between Pakistan bowlers and Indian batsman. Hope the better team wins

  • Fayyaz Siddiqui on March 29, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    It would be a match of bowling against batting.

    In terms of bowling: Pakistan's top 6 bowlers (including saeed ajmal) has lower economy rate than india's top bowler's economy rate (Bhajji 4.43 and Zaheer 4.47) in this world cup.

    In terms of Batting: 5 Indian's batsmen have score more runs than top Pakistan's batsmen (Umar 211) in this world cup

    Anxiouly waiting for an exciting match!!!!

  • Ramesh on March 29, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    One of the best analysis I have read of this impending clash between India and Pakistan. Balanced and sensible.

  • abdullah waqar on March 29, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    sir,salam,very nice column.i read ur articles and the thing i like the most is ur adherence to the neutral point of view rather than taking sides.salam.waqar.

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  • abdullah waqar on March 29, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    sir,salam,very nice column.i read ur articles and the thing i like the most is ur adherence to the neutral point of view rather than taking sides.salam.waqar.

  • Ramesh on March 29, 2011, 12:48 GMT

    One of the best analysis I have read of this impending clash between India and Pakistan. Balanced and sensible.

  • Fayyaz Siddiqui on March 29, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    It would be a match of bowling against batting.

    In terms of bowling: Pakistan's top 6 bowlers (including saeed ajmal) has lower economy rate than india's top bowler's economy rate (Bhajji 4.43 and Zaheer 4.47) in this world cup.

    In terms of Batting: 5 Indian's batsmen have score more runs than top Pakistan's batsmen (Umar 211) in this world cup

    Anxiouly waiting for an exciting match!!!!

  • Vinod on March 29, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Hi Saad, I accept that Pakistan's win against WI was bigger than India but India won by 5 wickets whereas Pakistan won by 4 wickets that too chasing a small total (176 vs 260). Howvever, I do agree that it is going to be a fascinating contest between Pakistan bowlers and Indian batsman. Hope the better team wins

  • Anonymous on March 29, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    Excellent areticle! Keep it up Shafqat!!.

  • Sally on March 29, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    Very well written Dr. Shafqat!

  • sujitvenu on March 29, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    The team that holds on to its nerves would prevail.... I doubt if all this media hype is doing any good to India.. I think it would boil down to Indian batting making the difference... bowling would more or less concede 260-270 any how

  • Aamir Malik on March 29, 2011, 13:28 GMT

    Thx for a nice post, i m realy tense over here too, I would't mind if pakistan loose the match as the worst but it should be like the champions after all 1 team to have loose

  • Kamal Bhavsar on March 29, 2011, 14:01 GMT

    I think you have a short memory. India and Pakistan played smefinal in 2003 at Southafrica, which India won.

  • R on March 29, 2011, 14:12 GMT

    Very good analysis captured in your article. I agree with you on India having an upper edge on this match against Pakistan. Pakistani top scorer in this tournament comes just below Indian 5th top order. In fact even if Indian team won against Pakistan it wouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary, they have done that before many times. Having a strong bowling attack can’t save Pakistani team if their performance in Batting is very weak. Against Aussie, it was difficult for Pak batsmen to achieve such small score. The odds are in Indian favor, but on the other hand Pakistani team has nothing to lose, as a fellow Pakistani; I do realize that Indian team is much stronger compare to Pakistan. No matter how much we say that we will beat India but in reality it’s quite difficult. May the best team win, and off course I will surely cheer for my boyss.