So much awaited India v Pakistan game of ICC World Cup 2011 is finally arrived which many experts calling it as “Mothers of Finals”. India who start this game as firm favorite knows what Pakistan team can do to them if they take them lightly and that’s why Indian Captain M.S.Dhoni told in the press conference that any team you will play is bigger than you if they reached till here.
Going by the performance of Pakistan team in the tournament, it will battle between Indian batsmen and Pakistanis bowlers. Pakistanis bowlers especially Umar Gul and their Captain Shahid Afridi is in great form with the ball. So playing these two quietly will be in the minds of Indians first and then see how it goes from there onwards.
The build-up has been intense and to cap it all, the prime ministers of the two nations are going to witness the game from the presidential box of the beautiful stadium. World Cup History’s is in India favor as they have never lost to Pakistan in the mega event. In 1992, 1996, 1999 and 2003 every time they manage to beat Pakistan with some fine bowling or with some outstanding display of batting in 2003 at Centurion.
Both teams know how important this game will be for them. Pakistan wants to tell cricket world that they deserve cricket in their backyard while India after the elimination of big fish like Australia and South Africa feel that they have golden opportunity to lift the Cup for second time after 1983.
India will have edge over Pakistan in many ways, whether it’s batting department or mental toughness because they have reached here after playing some fighting games. Pakistan on the other hand either won there game quite easily or lost them badly (so far only one in this tournament).
If India manages to get control in the earlier overs and later of the game while batting then the chances of winning the game will increase. As we have witnessed in quite a few matches, team struggle to get going during powerplay overs. India who lost seven wickets for 29 against South Africa and 7 wickets for 50 runs against West Indies needs to address this area in the game against Pakistan. Also there fielding needs to perform the same way as they did against Australians to make it tough for Pakistan.
Yuvraj Singh who is playing in front of his home crowd will eye another big knock with his bat to get closer to the Cup that counts. In the bowling department after inclusion of R.Ashwin Indian bowling looked more stable and tight in the last two games, with Zaheer Khan leading the pace attack someone from Nehra or Munaf needs to perform according to their potential.
On the other hand Pakistan batting looked more vulnerable in this tournament. With every batsmen cheeped in here and there but they lack consistency required at this level. Captain Afridi himself is struggling with bat in this tournament along with Younis Khan and Misbah-Ul-Haq.
Bookies are also considering India as favorite to win this game. On they are given the odds of 4/7 for India and 11/8 for Pakistan. But just wait and watch another cracking encounter on the card, history may be against Pakistan at this moment but this is game of cricket and any thing can happen.
Pitch and Conditions
The Pitch at Mohali will provide support to the fast bowlers. As record suggest in past games, out of 135 wickets fallen here 105 wickets taken by fast bowlers and rest by spinners. However the wicket will be good for batting and any team winning the toss have to decide whether to bat or bowl first considering the dew factor in the evening. Also rain can spoil the party of billions of fans who was desperately waiting for this game. On Tuesday night Mohali hit by heavy thunderstorm as well as rain but on match day there is little chance of rain, so hope for the best.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 14:30 PM India Time)
With Munaf Patel struggling for form, Ashish Nehra is likely to replace the pacer other than that there is very slick chance of changes in the Indian Squad.
By considering the condition Pakistan is thinking of going with three seam attack. So the choice of third pacer will be between Shoiab Akhtar and W.Riaz. S.Akhtar is still not 100% fit so W.Riaz is likely to get the nod.
India: Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Captain & WK), Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra
Pakistan: Kamran Akmal (WK), Mohammad Hafeez, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Abdul Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz.