Ind v Pak, Super Eights, Group 2, WorldT20 2012, Colombo

India look for inspiration, Pakistan progress

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

September 29, 2012

Comments: 196 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

September 30, 2012
Start time 1930 (1400 GMT)


MS Dhoni applies sun cream  during the practice session, World T20 2012, Colombo, September 27, 2012
With problems aplenty, no wonder MS Dhoni has greyed already © Associated Press
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There was a time when all an out-of-form Pakistan cricketer needed to do was turn up against India, and he would magically regain his touch. How India will be hoping they can do some of that when they play Pakistan in their middle Super Eight match on Sunday.

Confused, low on confidence, playing as if with the weight of the world on their shoulders, India find themselves in a tight corner. Their trusted players are not performing, and some of the reserves provided by the selectors are not good enough. And for the first time there are questions around the captain's place in the side: he strikes at 110 runs per 100 balls, has never scored a T20I fifty, and twice in India's three last defeats he has hurt the side's momentum, failing to score a run a ball in the latter half of the innings. One more defeat, and India won't even have a backdoor entry left after their massive negative run-rate.

India do seem to have turned the tables from the time Pakistan used to dominate this "rivalry". Since the start of 2006, India have won 15 and lost eight internationals against Pakistan, but still trail the head-to-head 58 to 81. Pakistan, though, will be feeling good about their game after having pulled off an improbable win over South Africa. And their bowlers might not have had the best of tournaments until Friday, but they do remain a threat. They will also know from first-hand experience during the warm-up game that Indian bowlers can be bossed when put under the slightest of pumps.

Pakistan have a statistic to set right, though: they have never beaten India in any 50-over or 20-over World Cup match.

Form guide (completed matches, most recent first)

India LWWLW
Pakistan WWWLW

Watch out for

Nasir Jamshed scored a fine century the last time Pakistan played India, but was denied a win by a superlative 183 from Virat Kohli. The two are the most promising young batting talents from the respective countries, both have been batting at No. 3 so far, and hold the key to a solid innings for their side.

India's opening - whether with the bat or with the ball - is now a matter of major speculation after the Irfan Pathan experiment with the bat and the R Ashwin one with the ball. Surely Irfan has got to get the new ball if he is to be used as a bowler? And surely India must want their specialist batsmen to get most of the overs?

Umar Gul may have won the previous match with the bat, but where has Gul the yorker-bowler disappeared? In 10 T20 matches this year, Gul has conceded runs at 8.4 an over, as opposed to an impressive career economy-rate of 6.88.

Team news

After the England match, Dhoni said he had problems of plenty at his hand. Less than 35 overs of cricket later, he has plenty of problems. Does he stand by his decision of keeping Virender Sehwag out and playing five bowlers? Does he look at the place of Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma in that middle order? Will Manoj Tiwary ever get to play a live game? What does he do with an under-performing Zaheer Khan? What does he do with his own form? Only one thing might be certain at this time: Piyush Chawla's yet other, inexplicable, comeback might have ended.

India (probable): 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma/Manoj Tiwary, 7 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Harbhajan Singh, 11 Zaheer Khan

Pakistan will be questioning Shahid Afridi's utility as a bowler who bats at No. 7. He has done his bit with the ball so far. He is the only Pakistan bowler other than Saeed Ajmal to have bowled all his overs in every match so far, and has conceded runs at only 6.33 an over. That should be enough to keep his place in the XI, but his six-or-nothing batting at No. 7 will remain a cause for worry.

Pakistan (probable) 1 Mohammad Hafeez (capt.), 2 Imran Nazir, 3 Nasir Jamshed, 4 Kamran Akmal (wk), 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Umar Akmal, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Umar Gul, 9 Yasir Arafat, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Raza Hasan.

Pitch and conditions

Conditions at the R Premadasa Stadium now present an interesting dilemma. The curator has now begun to leave the pitch dry, which should make you want to bat first. However, with the ever-present threat of the rain you also want to exploit the Duckworth-Lewis anomaly and avoid the wet outfield.

Stats and trivia

  • Shoaib Malik loves playing India. His overall international average is 31.67 over 282 matches, but in 38 matches against India he has scored four of those nine centuries and has averaged 46.41. In an unrelated incident he has married an Indian, tennis player Sania Mirza.
  • Pakistan and India have never played each other in a T20 international outside the World Twenty20.

    Quotes

    "For me I think Virender Sehwag can be very dangerous. I hope he'll play the next two games. I think it won't be easy to play the next two games without him."
    Suresh Raina to BBC

    "When we play India there is lot of pressure because our people always want us to win. The same is the case in India, so there will be pressure on both teams."
    Umar Gul hints at implications other than just progression in the tournament whenever Pakistan play India

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

ashwin and harbhajn can bat well,zaheer is not in his best of forms......irfan and zaheer must open the owling...if they get eary wickets...it would be easir to ashwin and bhajji....16 overs for indians are ok....bt 4 overs they have to mange somehow using yuvraj raina..they are missingjadeja...he was given chances in aus....bt not india sl where the boundaries are short and pitch supports turn......dinda is a rubbish.....balaji..i dont think can perform anymore..............som,tthe man concern for india is thir bowling,if indian perfect batting is backed up with only 50 % of bowling,nobody can restrict india to win title

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 1:14 GMT)

CMON INDIA PLZ WIN! it bare me facing abuse from my pakistani friends :D

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 0:55 GMT)

now I am 24, but at ages 7-12 when an indo pak clash happened I used get feared. Pakistan had a clear upper hand. Pak used to bat first and score 270 and India stumble in chase.this used to happen frequently. But after kargil war,from 2003wc India are having the upper hand over Pakistan. My favourite indo pak match is still that kanitkar boundary if saqlain at Dhaka,hope atleast some people here have seen that match

Posted by ALA1 on (September 30, 2012, 0:53 GMT)

Afridi scored 52 runs two or three innings before. He is a bowling allrounder and can turn the game with bat,bowl and even fielding. He should play. Razzaq should play in place of Raza Hassan as Indians play spin well and we already have 3 or 4 spinners. Hope to see a good match and those indians who are saying that Pakistan has never beaten them in a World cup, IA tomorrow your wait will end. And do remember 81-58 international record of Indo PAk matches in Pakistan's favour.

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 0:38 GMT)

Between India and Pakistan it is oten a psychological game relished by by partisan supporters. Perhaps it makes it more interesting. Beyond that, team to team they enjoy good off field relations. For now, Sehwag, once the best opener in the world who is performing may suddenlty return to make the difference in this match.

Posted by KabaabRoll on (September 30, 2012, 0:34 GMT)

I want pak to win, but it would be foolish to write off India. For one they have a point to prove, and they are a top class team. I strongly feel Raza Hassan should not play tomorrow, as he is very young (in terms of cricketing experience as well as age) and might not be ready for taking part in such a high profile match. Instead, bring in Abdul Razzaq, adding depth to the batting and another seam bowling option. We shouldnt miss Raza too much since shoaib malik is also an option. If Viru does play, it is imperative to get him early as he loves thrashing pakistan. On the same note, Malik can be brought up the order because his average increases significantly against india. Pakistan has a better win/loss ratio overall against India, however indian team of recent has shortened that gap significantly as well as having the upper hand in world cup games. I have full faith that this pakistani team can widen that gap once again, and it would surely help in m amir and junaid khan are in th pic

Posted by   on (September 30, 2012, 0:13 GMT)

@ahmedjawwad4u. I think u are probably forgetting about pakistans record against india in all head tohead mayches. Dont be selective. In tworld cup... non world cup... away or at home.... in that format..... Pakistan has beaten india more times .

Posted by Nampally on (September 30, 2012, 0:10 GMT)

Many Pakistan Fans are already writing off India. India played badly against the Aussies. But that was another day. Tomorrow will be a new day. India has enough batting to score over 200, if Sehwag fires 100%. He generally plays well against Pakistan. So don't be surprised to see Sehwag determined not to throw away his wkt. Sehwag in full flight is a bowlers' Nightmare. Pakistan batting is poor and if India get their teeth into the game they can dismiss the Pakistan team cheaply. T 20 is a format in which a team on a particular day can beat any other team. It was not India's day vs. the Aussies. Hopefully they will bounce back. There is no other guy better suited to lead the charge than Sehwag. Kohli, Tiwary & Raina will be all backing Sehwag. Yuvraj is yet to show his power & don't be surprised if he does rise up like he hit Broad for 6 sixers in one over!. It is a do or die game for India whilst it is not that crucial to pakistan even if they lose. Good Luck Dhoni & India. Go for it!

Posted by   on (September 29, 2012, 23:46 GMT)

India will win and Pak beat Aus and SA beat Aus So win win situation for India and PakistN. Wait for grand Finale after 2007

Posted by engrnauman on (September 29, 2012, 23:40 GMT)

Hafeez should out afridi and abdul razzaq should be in. A.R is more experienced than Afridi. His Bowling and Batting is much better than Afridi. Afridi disappointed the nation due to his current performance. Good luck Pak.

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