Indian team who is no doubt played some aggressive and fearless cricket in the tournament so far but it will be another tight battle expected between arch rival Pakistan
at National Stadium Karachi.
The win here will give Indian team a ticket to play in the Final of Asia Cup against the Sri Lankan’s lions. However Pakistan would be hoping for some miracle sort of things from some of their players to stay a live in the tournament. Pakistan not only needs to win their remaining two matches by big margins but they have to also pray for the Sri Lanka to beat India by very big margin if they would like to qualify for the Final.
India has 4 points from their one match (2 points carry forwarded from previous rounds and 2 points for winning the game against Bangladesh) and has net run rate of +1.02. On the other hand Pakistan has only 2 points in the same number of matches and has net run rate of -1.17.
So far Indian batting looks most aggressive and played some good cricket and the wickets at Karachi is still promises to be batting friendly wicket. But any score between 310 to 320 runs will be defendable and Indian team will be eyeing for the similar types of score if they bat first.
Three days break given the Indian team a much needed break they were looking for but Irfan Pathan is still doubtful for today’s game. Suresh Raina is performed exceptionally well for his team and he would love to continue his good form in remaining matches of Asia Cup. Virendra Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir always provided there team a rollicking start in the tournament while middle order batsman also performed well when they got their chance.
The main worry for the Indians is their bowling department as they went on to concedes 299 runs against Pakistan and 283 runs against the Bangladesh. Some wayward bowling also didn’t help the course for the Indian captain M.S.Dhoni and he would hoping to get good start by his new ball bowlers R.P.Singh and Praveen Kumar.
For Pakistan they need to play like a team and some body from there top four needs to get big hundred if they would like to create any pressure on the Indian batting order. Despite winning the Kitply Cup their team looks really vulnerable.
National Stadium pitch as always will be another batting friendly wicket with full of runs and we may witness another 300 plus score from the team batting first.
Player to Watch
Suresh Raina: This young lad from U.P has already won the hearts of many Indian fans with his free flowing stroke play. So far he has scored 301 runs in the three matches he played so far in the Asia cup with an average of 150.5.
Misbah-Ul-Haq: This hard hitting middle order batsman can change the complexion of the game at any time if he is on song as he has shown in his last inning against Bangladesh as well as we have already witnessed many matches like this. He might get chance to bat at number four in today’s match.
Irfan Pathan who misses the last two matches is likely to be included in the playing XI in place of his elder brother Yusuf Pathan. Indian captain may also opt to go into this match with two specialist spinners by seeing the last two matches from Sri Lankan’s. On the other hand Pakistan may make more than few changes in their squad by bringing fast bowler A.Rauf in place of way ward W.Riaz and Saeed Ajmal is likely to make debut in place of Manssor Amjad.
Likely Playing XI for both the teams (Match will start from 15:30 PM India time)
India: V.Sehwag, G.Gambhir, Y.Singh, M.S.Dhoni (Captain), S.Raina, R.Sharma, I.Pathan, P.Chawla, P.Kumar, P.Ojha, R.P.Singh.
Pakistan: S.Afridi, Salman Butt, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Shoaib Malik (Captain), Sohail Tanvir, Sarfraz Ahmed (WK), Iftikhar Anjum, Abdul Rauf, S.Ajmal.