India v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Kolkata January 2, 2013

Kolkata offers more hope for India


Match facts

January 3, 2012
Start time 1200 (0630 GMT)

Big Picture

India are again left needing to come from behind, third time in their last four series. A superb display of swing bowling by Junaid Khan crippled India's batting line-up on an overcast Chennai morning before MS Dhoni rescued his team with a fighting century. Such a procession of batsmen to the pavilion appears unlikely in Kolkata, where overhead conditions haven't been as bowler-friendly and the curator Prabir Mukherjee has promised a "typical one-day wicket with lots of runs" with the side batting first having an early advantage. But the visitors have been practicing hard to seal their team's first bilateral ODI series win over India since 2005.

Pakistan's seamers bowled extended spells at the nets on Tuesday, with Umar Gul, Junaid and Mohammad Irfan aiming at one stump. India, on the other hand, missed a session on Tuesday and have an optional one on the eve of the game. They may be short of adequate preparation for a game they cannot afford to lose.

Form guide (Completed games, most recent first)

India: LWWWL
Pakistan: WLWLL

Players to watch

Shoaib Malik was initially picked only for the T20s but has been retained for the ODIs and played a good supporting hand in Chennai. He's had a good tour so far, guiding Pakistan to victory in the first T20 before giving Nasir Jamshed company in his team's successful chase on Sunday. A former Pakistan captain, Malik has struggled to keep his place in the side for a while but his experience has come in handy in this limited-overs series.

After his century in the first Test against England in Ahmedabad, Virender Sehwag has failed to fire. He was not picked in March last year for the Asia Cup, and could be under pressure to perform, given he's had just one half-century in his last 10 innings in ODI cricket.

Team news

Rohit Sharma's poor run of scores in ODIs continued in Chennai and India could consider replacing him with Ajinkya Rahane. However, there is uncertainty over Virat Kohli's availability, as he limped off the field after slipping while bowling in Chennai. MRI scans revealed no serious damage, but his condition continues to be monitored.

India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Rohit Sharma/Ajinkya Rahane, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt and wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Ashok Dinda.

It seems unlikely Pakistan will make changes, even though Mohammad Irfan proved expensive in Chennai.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Mohammad Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Azhar Ali, 4 Younis Khan, 5 Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shoaib Malik, 7 Kamran Akmal (wk), 8 Junaid Khan, 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Mohammad Irfan.

Stats and Trivia

  • Rohit Sharma is 22 short of reaching 2000 runs in ODIs.
  • Kamran Akmal is 70 short of scoring 3000 in ODIs.


"If he keeps on doing that then we will find another great left arm fast-bowler of Wasim Akram's type."
Younis Khan on Junaid Khan

"We are used to playing with part-timers. Now it's difficult for them to bowl 10 overs with five players inside the circle. So you've to assess whether six batsmen are enough or seven [are needed]."
MS Dhoni says the new ODI rule, which permits only four fielders outside the 30-yard circle in the non-Powerplay overs, creates problems for teams that lack genuine allrounders

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Congrats to Pakistan Shaheen on winning at Indian soil.

  • atul on January 3, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Fail to understand why they need to carry on with - GAMBHIR AND SEHWAG, when they repeatedly failed. Why SHAMI AHMED not given chance at home venue ?. Why tire out Ishant before Australia series ?

    There are so many other players who can be given an opportunity to debue and impress. There should be pool of at least 50 players to play for the country anytime reqd.

  • Sherjil on January 3, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    Today i am feeling angry over team management and selectors.Why you choose players if you are not going to give him any chance. Dhoni is switching over Rohit Sharma/Jadeja.I don't know on what merits Sir, Ravinder Jadeja is been selected today.Is he world class bowler or a world class batsman or a genuine all rounder????

  • Dhana on January 3, 2013, 6:40 GMT

    why again jadeja for that its better to have sreesanth

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    With India its always a talk of playing conditions, top teams in the world rely on their resources and equip them well to play in any given conditions. Once Asian teams polish their players in a way that they are able to perform in any conditions, only then we will not see the humiliating performances such as Indian and SL's recent tour to Australia and Pakistan's 2010 tour to Aus. England/SA/AUS have beaten Asian teams in Asia on several occassions just because they have raised their game to play in any given conditions.

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    Batting first. To day is really test of Pakistan ability to bat and bowl. India is favorite to day. If India loses to day, it not only means end of Dhoni captaincy but India will lose psyclogical advantage against Pakistan. I will not be surprised if Pakistan regain position in which they were after Miandad famous six in sharjah.

    Best of luck to Pakistan.

  • dakshina on January 3, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Wow! India going to lose this match also, because they are playing with non wicket taker Ishant and Jedeja. They should play with Rahane & Shami Ahmed instead of those guys.

  • Kiran on January 3, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    @ Taimur Huk -- how much has anwar scored in Australia and SAF? How much has lakshman scored in Australia and SAF? Case closed. Anwar is a flat track bully who scored only in sub-continent and Sharjah. Bring his stats outside the sub continent and you will start crying. haha.

  • Dummy4 on January 3, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    its big game for pakistan they should win it . the pwople will hope india to win this but pak shd not take any risk n rape up the series n try to clean swep n to hav confidenc b4 going to sa tour gud luk pakis

  • Aditya on January 3, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Is Irfan Pathan injured or dead? Cuz I can't understand why he's not in the team which needs a good all-rounder and not someone like bullshit Jadeja who gets picked every time.