Pakistan in India 2012-13 December 22, 2012

Pakistan Twenty20 squad leaves for India

  shares 39

The Pakistan Twenty20 squad, led by Mohammad Hafeez, has left Lahore for Delhi to play their first bilateral series against India since 2007. The players selected in the ODI squad - Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Haris Sohail, Wahab Riaz, Imran Farhat and Anwar Ali - will depart Pakistan on December 26.

"We are ready and prepared for the India challenge," Hafeez had said at the end of a training camp in Lahore. "We have trained so hard to get ready for the India series. India might be low at the moment [after losing to England in the Test series] but it's a new format and they have a very balanced T20 team.

"Nobody can deny the fact that a Pakistan-India series carries intense pressure. The contest is always full of pressure and full of expectations of people of both countries. We will try to express ourselves without any pressure."

Although it was Pakistan's turn to host a bilateral series, India were not keen to play at a neutral venue. There has been no international cricket in Pakistan since March 2009, when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus. Bilateral ties between the two countries, however, had been suspended even before that incident, because of the terror attacks in Mumbai in November 2008.

The longest gap in bilateral series between Pakistan and India was from 1962 to 1977, in the wake of wars in 1965 and 1971. The Kargil conflict in 1999 led to another break, until 2004. India's home ministry cleared the way for the upcoming series on October 30, four years after the Mumbai attacks.

"Cricket has always played its role in toning down the tensions," Shaharyar Khan, an ex-PCB chairman, told ESPNcricinfo. "There should have a series of Test matches as well but anyways its better to have something rather than nothing."

Shaharyar was the PCB chairman who brought India to Pakistan in 2004 for their first full series in 14 years. "Both countries have to play on regular basis," Shaharyar said. "No matter who wins, this cricket diplomacy will improve the relationship of both countries. It's a meaningless debate whose turn it was to host; the foremost intention was to revive the ties."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on December 24, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    @ Behind_the_Wicket just for your information in case if u have forgotten since the introduction of 2 new balls to be used per innings in ODIs , 250 has once again become a competitive score.Check the stats and workout the average scores since 2 new balls've been used . i guess you are one of those cricket fans who only like 4s and 6s . Against India especially you got to have experienced players who can absorb the pressure of jam packed crowed aswell. So for me "Tuk Tuk" will do .

  • Behind_the_Wicket on December 23, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    I think Pakistani T20 Team may can win a match but ODI team can't win a single match because Pakistan Crciket Board & Selectors are treating ODI like test match. All Slow & Tide Horses are included in team. Mr Tuk Tuk Senior Misbah ul Haq , Mr Tuk Tuk Joiner Younas Khan and Tuk Tuk of the Year Azhar are included.250+ is a big target for Pakistani Team in ODI.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 23, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    All these bashers of T20I, please sit at home. I don't like golf. But I don't remember one occasion where I had to go to a golf forum and bash them. What's wrong with the guys that have this twisted logic that they don't like a format and still read what's happening in that format and worse even post comments there.

  • on December 23, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    yes, desihangama ,indeed t20 is circus , it is only tests, which is real ckt.

  • Desihungama on December 23, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I think Pak team has no clue how to play an ODI innings considering how cricket is being revolutionized. They are good at T20 and Test. But then again ODI is on it's way out. However, I wonder if T20 will attain the status of World Cup and gauge a cricketer?. In words of Great Imran Khan, I still think its a gully cricket.

  • on December 23, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    when team captain is itself ,average batsman at best, what can one hope from this team ,he is the very reason of mr . Razaqq has been dropped ,it is so distuing , this medicore batsman will know his place in world ckt. When they will tour south africa when chin music will be on epitome,.?

  • gsingh7 on December 23, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    gud luck india, play like tigers and win the pak team like they are some minnow club level side, hope yuvi makes century and big sixes

  • swat1999 on December 23, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Pakistan T20 team is good but i have doubte about ODI team while Younos khan, Shoib Malik and Misbah produce lot of dot balls, thats the real reason Pakistan always loose the ODI game

  • cyberstudent on December 23, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    India has the upper hand in recent times, Pakistan's side has no player who can take the pressure and bat through the whole inning (except YK if he performs well) and no finisher who can finish the match in win, (dropping Razzaq will cost us) on the other hand Indian side has a lot of potential great players, who have delivered under pressure. Looking forward to Kohli and Raina.

    I am Pakistani but my money is on India. And guys take it as a game, the better team will win, grow up and stop the traditional indo-pak war in comments.

  • on December 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Happy with the revival of Indo-pak cricketing ties again ~ ! Whoever wins seldom matter as the pedigree of entertainment always stays tall in these series !!

  • on December 24, 2012, 1:10 GMT

    @ Behind_the_Wicket just for your information in case if u have forgotten since the introduction of 2 new balls to be used per innings in ODIs , 250 has once again become a competitive score.Check the stats and workout the average scores since 2 new balls've been used . i guess you are one of those cricket fans who only like 4s and 6s . Against India especially you got to have experienced players who can absorb the pressure of jam packed crowed aswell. So for me "Tuk Tuk" will do .

  • Behind_the_Wicket on December 23, 2012, 21:50 GMT

    I think Pakistani T20 Team may can win a match but ODI team can't win a single match because Pakistan Crciket Board & Selectors are treating ODI like test match. All Slow & Tide Horses are included in team. Mr Tuk Tuk Senior Misbah ul Haq , Mr Tuk Tuk Joiner Younas Khan and Tuk Tuk of the Year Azhar are included.250+ is a big target for Pakistani Team in ODI.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on December 23, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    All these bashers of T20I, please sit at home. I don't like golf. But I don't remember one occasion where I had to go to a golf forum and bash them. What's wrong with the guys that have this twisted logic that they don't like a format and still read what's happening in that format and worse even post comments there.

  • on December 23, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    yes, desihangama ,indeed t20 is circus , it is only tests, which is real ckt.

  • Desihungama on December 23, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    I think Pak team has no clue how to play an ODI innings considering how cricket is being revolutionized. They are good at T20 and Test. But then again ODI is on it's way out. However, I wonder if T20 will attain the status of World Cup and gauge a cricketer?. In words of Great Imran Khan, I still think its a gully cricket.

  • on December 23, 2012, 14:30 GMT

    when team captain is itself ,average batsman at best, what can one hope from this team ,he is the very reason of mr . Razaqq has been dropped ,it is so distuing , this medicore batsman will know his place in world ckt. When they will tour south africa when chin music will be on epitome,.?

  • gsingh7 on December 23, 2012, 10:14 GMT

    gud luck india, play like tigers and win the pak team like they are some minnow club level side, hope yuvi makes century and big sixes

  • swat1999 on December 23, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    Pakistan T20 team is good but i have doubte about ODI team while Younos khan, Shoib Malik and Misbah produce lot of dot balls, thats the real reason Pakistan always loose the ODI game

  • cyberstudent on December 23, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    India has the upper hand in recent times, Pakistan's side has no player who can take the pressure and bat through the whole inning (except YK if he performs well) and no finisher who can finish the match in win, (dropping Razzaq will cost us) on the other hand Indian side has a lot of potential great players, who have delivered under pressure. Looking forward to Kohli and Raina.

    I am Pakistani but my money is on India. And guys take it as a game, the better team will win, grow up and stop the traditional indo-pak war in comments.

  • on December 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Happy with the revival of Indo-pak cricketing ties again ~ ! Whoever wins seldom matter as the pedigree of entertainment always stays tall in these series !!

  • jaffar678 on December 23, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    pakistan should win this series against this mediocre indian side..even they lost to england B team last night....and that england B team didnt had any class bowler in the team and there was no class batsman except morgan!!

  • sheru001 on December 23, 2012, 6:40 GMT

    @dmqi: Man u need a must and extensive research. Check the stats first, ur batting and bowling in very recent past is shattered. Tendulkar at last resigned from ODIs, it will be good for ur side as some fresh blood will join. Every big match between both sides is a political fixture rather than a game. All big matches in recent fixtures were politically given to India as a good will gesture. Don't be so emotional and political. Be a game lover and sportsman. Enjoy the game from both ends. Keep the spirit of the game. Don't politicize the game as mostly BCCI does.

  • on December 23, 2012, 5:26 GMT

    Pakistan has a good bowling side. Abdur Rahman and Ajmal are world class. The quicks are not as good as the 'bad boys' now under suspension. The batsmen are good one day and horrible therafter. Misbah is getting senile. He treat ODIs like tests and gives up maiden after maiden. India has the worst bowling side in the world. The Pakistani batsmen should get lucky and improve their stats. But then the Indians fight like lions when playing Pakistan. So who knows what the outcome will be.

  • AmjadZork on December 23, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    My team (out of the current squad) would be: 1) Ahmed Shehzad 2) M Hafeez 3) Nasir Jamshed 4) Kamran akmal 5) Umar akmal 6) Umar Amin 7) Shoaib malik 8) Shahid Afridi 9) Sohail Tanvir 10) Saeed Ajmal 11) Junaid Khan.................... Please dont pick Umar Gul for T-20 against India...

  • Naeem578 on December 23, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    @dmqi: Dear our batting is not so weak as you guys think, if you check the stats of last year or so our batting is doing fine and improving by the likes of Azhar Ali, Jamshed, Shahzad, Asad Shadfiq etc. Don't worry you will feel the difference when Ahmad shahzad and Jamshed gonna pummeled you. In fact our batsmen played to swann n panesar much better in UAE than your so called best players of spin plz check stats.

  • on December 23, 2012, 3:55 GMT

    They have to play positvely and also bat well

  • dmqi on December 23, 2012, 3:48 GMT

    Paki bros, do not be too excited with India-England series. You know you do not have good batsmen, Indian bowlers can take care of them,but can your bowlers keep Indian batsmen on check, we will find out. Until then just no foul talk/past history. Looking forward to an exciting series. 3rd umpire from DC.

  • haq33 on December 22, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    lol...gsingh.....recent results are actually a blip in the dominance of pak over india in tests and odi's if you care to check the facts (t20's are all square by the way). we have a team of matchwinners - only need 2 to click. i'd say india are pretty nervous.

  • on December 22, 2012, 21:03 GMT

    If the new generation of India and Pak has still not learnt from history and all the hate and criticism that has went on over the past 60 years or so, and anyone continues to be a moron about the bad ties and stupidity taught to you guys from your Ancestors, then its nothing but a huge shame on the people of the two. You guys could have been so strong together and your Elders were stupid enough to break you and leave you poor and hungry. Fact is everyone in these two countries dreams to leave the countries and live abroad, then WHATS YOUR LOVE FOR COUNTRY? Just welcome the Pak team and enjoy the games you dumb extremists..

  • Nadeem1976 on December 22, 2012, 20:20 GMT

    finally we got a pure contest with tension and expectations. I love pak vs india and i am going to enjoy it who ever wins.

  • on December 22, 2012, 20:18 GMT

    Looking forward to the series. I am one of those who believes in positive thinking so I would rather not comment on the crap that people are talking about because it doesn't matter as the stats speak for themselves :)

    All I want is competitive work from both sides and with that I would love to see some courage from BCCI to make neutral pitches as the world would love to see fair competition.

    Good luck, being Pakistani - would love to see my team WIN In Sha Allah!

  • Syed_imran_abbas on December 22, 2012, 19:44 GMT

    We should learn to accept each other.. we lived together and now we are two seperate countries exiting for 65 years and its the time to move on and bring friendship in relations to progress in the world as hate and wars didnt do any good for both sides. Lets welcome each other. I am hoping a super contest.

  • on December 22, 2012, 19:08 GMT

    well not optimistic abt pakistan they are doin well against other tyeams but when it comes to india their performance is shaky, well not forget misbah how he forced pakistan to loose semifinal of world cup, drop catches bla bla bla. kamran akaml will the 12th player for india dropping catches, misbah is their darling waiting balls and younus is out of form better to retire

  • on December 22, 2012, 18:52 GMT

    pakistan this will gonna rock on indian soil Insha ALLAH

  • Maq003 on December 22, 2012, 18:33 GMT

    After Pakistan we should invite Zimbabway then Keniya and Bangladesh for full series including test, ODI and T20. This will boost our players moral (fans also) and ICC ranking. Think seriously about this.

  • Pak_alldway on December 22, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    @gaingh7:: get ur facts right mate 69 to 48 pak that shows who dominated.but m not like u a blind follower of cricket n will say its going to b tough series n wen it comes to indopak match there's no prediction for these matches whoever control the nerves on the day wil win the match.best of luck to both teams

  • on December 22, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Plz pick Tendulkar for the ODIs........ want his career to be finished with a loss against Pakistan :D

  • on December 22, 2012, 16:15 GMT

    @gsingh...we shall see that in a couple of days...but let ur team save face in t20s against india first ...

  • banglafan on December 22, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    BAngladeshi fans also eagerly looking forward to this series. India seems to be the stronger side, having much more experience in T20s.

  • bhrangi on December 22, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Counting the days.,,. i don't like T20 but will love this match., India Vs Pak Wow.,

  • jaffar678 on December 22, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    best of luck pakistan!!go there and do what you have done in 70s,80s,90s and 2005,, that is just beat india!!looks like a pretty gud t20 side...go greens go!

  • joelucky on December 22, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Hoping for some good competitive cricket. Ignore the hateful trolls like Kiwirocker.

  • gsingh7 on December 22, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    india should play with strength and dominate pak as they always do , hope team blue thrash team green to all parts of india, come on INDIA

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Hopefully it 'll be a good series to watch

  • DrSunilSharma on December 22, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    The Pakistan cricket teams visit to India after 5 years is welcome sign as spectators from both sides and around the world do enjoy this rivalry to be a better team and wholeheartedly support better player from both sides equally. I think India can always host the all matches between them and neutral venue is not needed.

    ICL was another tournament where Indian fans could see Inzmam-ul-Haq , Shoab, Afridi Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan have been great cricketer to showcase their skills in India earlier. But now , new Pakistan and Indian cricket team will create new record and competitive cricket.

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Make us proud boys! Long live Pakistan and India[2].

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Go guys and play hard May Allah Bless u.

  • gnanzcupid on December 22, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Ya. Give a good fight young lads

  • on December 22, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Good Initiative by both countries, Long Live Pakistan & India.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on December 22, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Good Initiative by both countries, Long Live Pakistan & India.

  • gnanzcupid on December 22, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Ya. Give a good fight young lads

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:06 GMT

    Go guys and play hard May Allah Bless u.

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:10 GMT

    Make us proud boys! Long live Pakistan and India[2].

  • DrSunilSharma on December 22, 2012, 12:18 GMT

    The Pakistan cricket teams visit to India after 5 years is welcome sign as spectators from both sides and around the world do enjoy this rivalry to be a better team and wholeheartedly support better player from both sides equally. I think India can always host the all matches between them and neutral venue is not needed.

    ICL was another tournament where Indian fans could see Inzmam-ul-Haq , Shoab, Afridi Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan have been great cricketer to showcase their skills in India earlier. But now , new Pakistan and Indian cricket team will create new record and competitive cricket.

  • on December 22, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Hopefully it 'll be a good series to watch

  • gsingh7 on December 22, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    india should play with strength and dominate pak as they always do , hope team blue thrash team green to all parts of india, come on INDIA

  • joelucky on December 22, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    Hoping for some good competitive cricket. Ignore the hateful trolls like Kiwirocker.

  • jaffar678 on December 22, 2012, 14:22 GMT

    best of luck pakistan!!go there and do what you have done in 70s,80s,90s and 2005,, that is just beat india!!looks like a pretty gud t20 side...go greens go!

  • bhrangi on December 22, 2012, 14:36 GMT

    Counting the days.,,. i don't like T20 but will love this match., India Vs Pak Wow.,