Will Dhoni use Irfan Pathan as the make-shift opener?
- Is Afridi in form?
These and other questions confound the analysts.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captian and Wicket Keeper), Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (Capt.), Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal (Wicket Keeper), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Asad Shafiq, Raza Hasan.
According to analysts and Bombay bookies, odds are heavily stacked against Bharat in the much-awaited Super Eights game. Pakistan has not beaten Bharat in either the 50-over World Cup or World T20, but Mohammad Hafeez’s men will start as favorites. India have now suffered seven consecutive losses at the Super Eights stage of this tournament. The Bharatis have their backs to the wall with virtually no
time to regain composure and confidence.
“It’s always good to be at a situation where you have to win every game – there is no chance of complacency,” said their India captain, MS Dhoni on Friday night.
He added: “I still think this team has potential. We are always at the top when it comes to the pressure chain because of the expectation level – we are expected to win everything. I don’t think we can go beyond that. What’s important is enjoying the game.”Talent has never been an issue with Pakistan cricket. Skipper Mohammad Hafeez will surely count on Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal. Pakistan may play Mohammad Sami. Hafeez’s consistency, Ajmal’s tricks and Shoaib Malik’s calm will bring Pakistan victory.
Dohoney and Co. is still searching for the right balance in batting and bowling and not sure about the effectiveness of playing three spinners (or four or five). Pakistan are far superior players of spin bowling.
Dhoni said: “slower deliveries will be effective on Premadasa strip” which means that a bowler like Lakshmipathy Balaji will be more effective.