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Preview-India versus Pakistan

Tim Holt
682   //    30 Mar 2011, 02:02 IST

So no more sleeps for we have arrived at the dawn of this epic clash.The winner will go through to play the very accomplished Sri Lankan side on Saturday.So though it is almost impossible to try to dissect a clash of such epic proportions.Here is my take on it.

Likely Teams

The Indian’s are looking at replacing Munaf Patel with Ashish Nehra and then they are deciding over whether to play Suresh Raina or Yusuf Pathan.Sadly there has been no talk of Sreesanth being included.Which is disappointing since he would bring an Xfactor to the Team that others wouldn’t.So the Team will be as follows:

Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhoni, Yusuf, Ashwin, Zaheer, Harbhahjan, Nehra

The men in green also have its selection poser.Over whether to play Shoaib Ahktar or to keep Wahab Riaz in the Team.There is merits for either and Shoaib has the backing of huge public support.So might get the nod.Though if he does play over Wahab it takes away the left hand variety in the bowling.

So this will be the likely Team

Harfeez, Kamran, Asad, Younis, Misbah, U Akmal, Afridi, Razzaq, Gul, Ajmal.Shoaib.

Key Clashes

1,Umar Gul versus Tendulkar and Sehwag
In this World Cup Gul has been one of the star bowlers either with the new ball getting early wickets or coming back with the old and upending Teams with his reverse swing.In Sehwag and Tendulkar you have one of India’s great strengths in regards to two exceptional players.Who can either rip attacks apart or play composed knocks if so needs be.

This clash will be probably the iconic clash of the match for India’s strength is batting and if Gul can dismiss one or both of the Indian King pins.It will be a huge favour in the clash.

All three players are exceptional,so it will be compelling theatre!

2.India versus Pakistan’s Spinners.

This clash will be intriguing for you have the undoubted kings of playing spin in the Indian batsman pitted against arguably the World Cups best spinning outfit.The very best of spinners have come up short against the Indian’s so if they do as they traditionally do against spinners and rip them apart.Then one of Pakistan’s greatest weapons will be neutralized.

So it will be crucial for the Afridi’s,Harfeez and Ajmal to have an effect against the Indian batsmen.For if they don’t it be very difficult to see Pakistan winning.

3.The Indian Part Time Bowlers against The Pakistan Batsmen.

In this World Cup the part time spin of in particular Yuvraj Singh has been key in India’s success.Though here in a huge clash against a very decent middle order for Pakistan.He and the other likely part timers in Yusuf Pathan and Raina depending of the two who play will be keys in the clash.

If they can be as effective as they have been then its a huge advantage to India.Though if Pakistan can get to them and score heavily off them then advantage men in green.

4.Both Teams Bowlers in the Power Players

Before the World Cup the first remarks made about both Teams is the strength in their hitters.Which undoubtedly is fact with some of the best hitters in the game.Though strangely in this World Cup so far neither Team has ripped a Team apart in a Power play with these hitters.

Will this be the day??????????
Both Teams have excellent Power play bowlers in Zaheer and Harbhahjan for India and Umar Gul and Afridi for Pakistan.

So they have been successful in controlling Teams in the Power Plays so far.

They wouldn’t want to have a bad day in this clash??????

For the benefit to the opposition Team will ber huge if they do!

XFactors In The Clash

1.Kamran Akmal Keeping(Pakistan)

To me this bumbling keeper is a huge Xfactor in the clash for if he is at his incompetent best with the gloves.Then Pakistan has no chance of winning. Every time I see his name in the Pakistan Team, I think they are playing with fire.

Lets hope in the epic clash that they don’t get burnt

2.M.S.Dhoni (India)

In the shorter forms of the game there arguably isn’t a more feared batsman than Dhoni. Though here in this World Cup he has been conspicuously absent.In this clash for a man as proud as Dhoni.It would surprise no one if he had a compelling influence

3,Use Abdul Razzaq Wisely! (Pakistan)

This guy has ice in his veins in every regard of the game. Strangely in this World Cup Pakistan haven’t fully utilised his talents.For in a clash as epic as this it would be a great tactical move to bat him in the top 4.For he is good enough to see out the good deliveries and then he is one of the most feared hitters in World cricket. So make it happen Pakistan!

4.India’s Power Plays
I cant for the life of me understand why India firstly don’t use the PowerPlay earlier in the game. Say between the 20-40th overs and then why they haven’t dominated in them.For they have the best batting in the World Cup and its is very complete batting.In regards to class,brutality and innovation. So in Power Plays should dominate-maybe this is the day

Weaknesses To Exploit

1,The Pakistani Openers

In this World Cup the Pakistani openers have struggled to get their Team a good start.So in this clash the Indian’s will target them big time.Hoping to get them early and then put pressure on the impressive youngsters Asad Shafique.In the hope that he fails and they can get amongst the middle order early.

2.The Indian 5th Bowler

This will likely either be Ashish Nehra or Munaf Patel.Both of who inspire absolutely no confidence at all.So as soon as they come on the Pakistan batsmen will look to rip them to shreds.

3. Both Teams Fielding

Both Teams are weak in this regard of the game so it looks great hitting 4′s and 6′s.Though you’ll break down a Teams bowling attack more professionally by stealing the quick singles.For it won’t allow the bowlers to target batsmen.Then if there are left and right handers at the crease it breaks up the bowlers lines. . That leads to 4 and 6 balls.

What We Want To See!

1,The Word of Peace!

It is touted that the Indian President has invited his Pakistani counterpart to the game. So lets hope like as was touchingly shown in the Dehli Commonwealth Games the presence of people power. In regards to how well the Pakistani Team were received by the Indian public and duly the pressure put on the leaders of both Nations to renew ties.
For both citizens of both Nations want more than anything peace and part of this being cricket matches renewed between the two.

2.A Slog Fest From One of The Big Hitters!

In this line up you have a murderers rows of huge hitters. Dhoni, Afridi, Yuvraq, Razzaq, Yusuf and many more.
Be great to see a 50 ball century to light up the clash!

3.A Game That Goes To The Last Over….Blow It Make It Last Ball!@&*^(!

Think this and you fill in the gaps it is …… bowling to ….. with 3 needed off the last ball……………
What happens and who is the hero and villain


Im not making a prediction on this game.For no matter who wins or loses the winners are cricket lovers the World over.

India Jai Ho! and Pakistan Zindabad!

Tim Holt
Cricket through the eyes of an Irishman. Do check out more on my blog <a href="">atouchofirishintheglobalvillage</a>
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