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After the Indian win versus Australia

Raina and Yuvraj after ensuring Indian win over Australia

The Indians were very professional in their Quarter Final slaying of the Aussies which now sets up a mouth watering Semi Final against Pakistan. The bowling that has been its weakness was effective enough to restrict the Australian batting to 260 on a pitch that very much had 300 written all over it. This very much was caused by the weakness of the Aussie batsman that was only able to get to that total with the sleeping giant in Ricky Ponting awaking. Though credit where credit is due the Indian bowling did the job. In Zaheer Khan they have a strike bowler that doesn’t pale in comparison with any of the other strike bowlers left in the World Cup. Then with the pitches getting lower and slower the spinners are becoming a factor and India has a glut of these. They aren’t the same quality of the Pakistani or Sri Lankan spinners but they are threatening enough to trouble even the best of batsmen.
It must be mentioned that the young Ravi Ashwin has been a very fine add on to the bowling unit. Lastly it must be remarked the Indian’s were very accomplished in the field. That was highlighted by some of the desperate drives in the outfield.

On the batting side of things…
In truth the target was achieved easily on the back of some very fine clutch batting by Yuvraj Singh, who must be on the short list for the player of the Tournament. Then he was ably supported by Suresh Raina, which will pose a query to the Indian selectors over who to choose for the Semi Final: Raina or Yusuf Pathan! Sachin was excellent as always and Sehwag was a bit down, he wasn’t his vibrant self. There wasn’t the characteristic Virender smiles and chats with umpires. The Indians will need to address the brainless implosion in the middle of the chase that gifted Gambhir, Kohli and Dhoni’s wicket to brainless cricket.

Going Forward
A Semi Final against Pakistan… Can we hope for any better??? I think not and these games are so hard to judge for the form guide just gets tossed out the window sitting here now as the dust settle on the defeat of the Aussies by the Indians. It would make sense to replace Munaf Patel with either Sreesanth or Ashish Nehera. I’d favour Sreesanth for he has that XFactor in regards to when he gets it right he can be devastating.
As for the Semifinal, on a simplistic level its basically based on this,


India’s regal batting against Pakistan’s very accomplished bowling.
Then India’s improving bowling against Pakistan’s adequate, but fragile batting.


A few of the clashes are mouth watering…

1. Umar Gul versus Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag
In truth Gul has probably been the most devastating new ball bowler in the Cup. Against these immortal Indian batsmen, who comes out victorious will have a huge bearing on the contest.


2. The Indian batsmen versus the exceptional Pakistani spinners
India are the maulers of any type of spinners and the Pakistan spinners have been stellar in this Cup- Who will come out on top?


3. Zaheer Khan versus the fragile Pakistani Openers
Zaheer is a great bowler and the Pakistani openers have struggled in this tournament so far. In a game of this magnitude starts are crucial. So who gives their Team the best start will be key.


4. Kamran Akmal
No keeping blunders-PLEASE-and in this game if he’s as bad as he can be it will cost Pakistan-BIG!


XFactors
India-Yuvraj Singh, Ravi Ashwin and Sreesanth(if included in the team)
Pakistan- Abdul Razzaq, Saeed Ajmal and Kamran Akmal (you think hell be forgiven if he has any bumbles in this match?)


CAN’T WAIT CAN’T WAIT CAN’T WAIT………….AND IN CASE YOU DIDN’T HEAR-CAN’T WAIT for the India vs Pakistan match which is no less than the Third world war to begin!

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