India Up Against Arch Rivals Pakistan In ICC T20 World Cup


Humiliated by lloss on Australia in their opening Super Eights match, a jittery India will have to pick up the pieces from their all-round failure and come up with an inspired performance against arch-rivals Pakistan in their do-or-die game in super-8's of ICC World Twenty20 on Sunday.
As India prepare to take on Pakistan in a do-or-die match in the World T20 tournament, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is asking his team to find a way to express themselves in the middle.
“It is also important that we go into the field and just express ourselves because we may not lose badly; we may not have worse game than what happened (against Australia)… so let’s go out there and express ourselves and play our shots and bowl with confidence and whatever the result maybe let’s not care about the result because it is a very different format you cannot do a lot of planning. Just go out, you have the talent, you have the resources just express yourself,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni has also said that six-hitting has been difficult on the slow tracks but other teams haven’t experienced the same problems. There are certain joys you experience when you take up a sport for the first time – the joy of discovering something new is prime among them. But right now, one wonders if this team is even enjoying itself in the middle.
Pakistan are pretty confident going into the game after their win in the warm-up game but Dhoni reckons that India have had the edge over their arch-rivals in recent years.
“If you see we are always at the top when it comes to the pressure chain… we have always won that because of the expectation levels back home. We are expected to win everything so I don’t think it can go beyond that limit. It is important to enjoy the game and not think about the result too much.”
The Indian team is focussing on enjoying itself and the best way to do that is to win. Because if Dhoni and his men can’t do that, the tournament is over for them.
Dhoni incidentally said earlier at the post match press conference against the game against aussies that "it was very difficult to justify why Sehwag was dropped".
However, there are serious questions that need to be asked about Yuvraj Singh`s inclusion in the team.
Largely an emotional decision by the selectors after his remarkable recovery from rare germ cell cancer, each and every passing match has been a proof of the fact that the talented left-hander needed some serious match practice at the domestic level before making an international comeback.
He has totally looked out of sorts while batting although he has somewhat made up with his bowling. Yuvraj has been quiet with the bat and that has affected India`s chances of putting up a big score against Afghanistan and Australia.
The choice between Sehwag and Yuvraj is a difficult one at the moment as both are not contributing with the bat. But there is still an outside chance of Sehwag playing an impact innings at the top of the order but getting a 40-ball-70 from Yuvraj will be asking for too much at this stage.
Pakistan, on the other hand, would look to put up an improved batting performance as it was due to sheer brilliance of Umar Gul that they were able to beat South Africa after being 76 for seven at one stage.
Talent has never been an issue with Pakistan cricket as they have had that in abundance but consistency has been a problem.
While they employed four spinners against South Africa, they might not use rookie slow left-arm orthodox bowler Raza Hasan against India.
While skipper Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal are automatic choices, there is a chance that Pakistan may play Mohammad Sami who, with his raw pace, can be a bit of an enforcer.
The only problem for Pakistan has been Afridi`s sharp dip in form with the willow which at times does hamper Pakistan`s batting prospects.
Afridi`s propensity of playing high-risk-no-gain kind of strokes have always put his team in trouble and it was not an exception against South Africa.
A lot will also depend on Pakistan`s most talented young batsman Umar Akmal who on his day can take apart any bowling attack in the world.
Skipper Hafeez`s consistency, Ajmal`s tricks and Shoaib Malik`s calming presence are certain positive aspects for the team.
The Squads:
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt; wk), Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Yuvraj Singh. 
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (capt.), Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Asad Shafiq, Raza Hasan.
Match starts at 7.30 pm (IST). 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates with Rohit Sharma after scoring a goal during a warm-up soccer match ahead of their ICC Twenty20 Super Eight match agaiAnd India started preparations for the match by playing football for around an hour and a half at the Colts Cricket Club in Colombo. It was not great football by any standard – most of the players were standing still and not moving around too much. But perhaps the idea was to help their players get the game against Australia out of their mFor a change, even though it was an optional nets session, all the players turned up for practice. But they didn’t have a long session in the cricket nets – just around 15 minutes. Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan batted a bit. Virender Sehwag didn’t bat in the nets and perhaps that means he may be left out of the team once againHowever, some range-hitting practice might have helped them get in the groove. In their 3 games in the tournament, India have managed to hit just 7 sixes. In the same period, Pakistan have managed 17 sixes and Australia despite playing a half-finished innings have 19. The West Indies had 11 sixes in just the match against Australia had 11 sixe

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