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Prior to the start of the World Cup, the India-UAE encounter might not have been such a talked about game, as the Men in Blue were clearly the more fancied side. But after almost 2 weeks into the tournament, the men from the UAE have shown that while they may not have great experience under their belt in the international arena, they certainly have it in them to give the top nations a close fight. India certainly can't afford to take them lightly, because if they do, they might well be spelling doom for their chances to top the table.
Here are 5 players from the UAE team that India need to be wary of during their match-up on Saturday:
1. Amjad Javed
The right arm fast bowler has been one of the most impressive players on display among all the cricketers from the associate nations. He picked 1 for 49 in 9 overs against Zimbabwe and then backed that effort with an even better spell versus Ireland, where he took 3 for 60 in 10 overs to almost help his side pull off a win.
Javed has also shown that he is an extremely useful striker of the ball by smashing an unbeaten 19-ball 25 versus Zimbabwe and then a 35-ball 42 against Ireland.
India will certainly need to be wary of this 34-year-old paceman and ensure that they don't give away an early wicket to him, like they have done so far in both their matches.
2. Shaiman Anwar
One of UAE's key batsmen in their line-up, Shaiman Anwar has played a crucial role so far, posting competitive scores in both their encounters. In their game versus Zimbabwe, the right-hander smashed 67 runs off 50 balls to propel his side to 285 for 7 in their 50 overs.
The 35-year-old, who was born in Sialkot, went one better in the next game versus Ireland, scoring his maiden ODI hundred – an 83-ball 106 that included 10 fours and a six.
MS Dhoni's men would look to prevent this man settling into a rhythm, and it would be a great bonus for them if they manage to get him out early on Saturday.
3. Khurram Khan
In the two matches thus far, Khurram Khan has shown that age is certainly just a number. The 43-year-old left-hander has played solid innings at the No. 4 position in both of UAE’s games.
Against Zimbabwe, he scored a 55-ball 45 and shared an 82-run stand with Krishnachandran Karate. In the next game versus Ireland, he once again played a steady hand, scoring 36 off 53 balls.
Khan would be hoping to carry on the form with the bat and get a big one versus India on Saturday. He is someone who can play the sheet anchor's role, and for the Men in Blue to succeed they would have to ensure that he isn't allowed to get stuck in the middle.
4. Mohammad Tauqir
Another man in the 40's club who has been shining every bit as bright as the young guns is Mohammad Tauqir. The right-arm off-break bowler picked up two wickets in the match versus Zimbabwe and led the side in the game versus Ireland where he bowled a tidy spell of 2 for 38 in 9 overs.
India made the mistake of underestimating the spin bowling of Moeen Ali and paid for it, as the off-spinner took 19 wickets in the five-match Test series last year. They would need to be careful to not make any such errors against Tauqir on Saturday.
5. Krishnachandran Karate
Born in Kollengode, Kerala, Krishanchandran Karate might not have made a big impact in the World Cup so far but he could be expected to come good when he takes the field on Saturday.
The 30-year-old scored a 63-ball 34 versus Zimbabwe but failed with the bat in the next game against Ireland. It goes without saying that he would be raring to make up for that when he faces the players from his home country.
Krishnachandran is also a handy right-arm medium fast bowler, and although he might have just picked up a solitary wicket so far, that is no reason for India to take him lightly.Published 27 Feb 2015, 15:45 IST