Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pakistan vs India WT20 2012 Preview - Pakistani Perspective



Pakistan has never beaten India in World Cups or World T20s, but has beaten them in ICC U19 World Cups, Champions Trophies and Asia Cups.

Pakistan defeated India by 5 wickets with 5 balls remaining during the warm up fixture at this very venue in Colombo 13 days before this fixture.

The two Pakistan-India games that have been played in this format were over 5 years ago. One was won by 5 runs and the other was tied with India taking the points courtesy of a bowl out.

India hasn’t won a super eight game in World T20s since 2007, losing all 3 matches in 2009 and 2010 during the second phase of the tournament and subsequently finishing last in their super 8 pool, unable to progress further in the championship.

Pakistan last beat India in a full on official international on 26th September 2009 during the Champions Trophy in South Africa.

Pakistan and India both played their first game in World T20s against each other, on the same day Rahul Dravid stepped down as Indian captain in the other formats of the game.

When they last met in this format Shoaib Malik was captaining the greens with Geoff Lawson as coach.

India in Twenty20 internationals this year: Played 8 | Won 4 | Lost 3 | NR 1

Pakistan in Twenty20 internationals this year: Played 11 | Won 6 | Lost 4 | Tied 1

Hafeez has captained in 8 Twenty20 internationals, winning 5, losing 2 and 1 will go down as tied officially (although Pakistan won the super-over)

Pakistan has successfully maintained their 100% winning record against South Africa in Twenty20 world competitions. It was an excellent game of Twenty20 cricket which went right down to the wire, but it was the Umars who took Pakistan back in the game and kept their cool to ensure they got close enough and finished it off. Pakistan are only side who are remaining in the competition to win all 3 matches in a full 20/20. The 2009 winners are on the brink of reaching another semi-final. The seam bowling and fielding are the areas of concern, but the top order batting form and spinners is an area where they are excelling.
Pakistan's Key Players

Nazir – On a flat track against a bowling attack which is hardly threatening, Nazir will hurt you with his fearless hitting if you don’t remove him early. In all matches up to  now has fired and got Pakistan off to a flyer for the 1st wicket. His opening combination with Hafeez has been working well with them both respecting each other’s approaches in the first 6 overs with their contrasting styles. Nazir goes hard up front and  likes to throw the bat around whereas Hafeez calmly starts his innings. He was runnning away with the show against them during the final in 2007, scoring 33  from 14 balls before a run out saw the back of him.
Jamshed – Jamshed scored a century against India at Dhaka during the Asia Cup match on Sunday 18th March this year in an opening stand of over 200 with Mohammad Hafeez. Jamshed has been in terrific touch for Pakistan over the last month or so. For me, what stands out is he doesn’t look to over-hit the ball and relies on good balance and good timing to earn value for his shots. He surely got a bit of an earful from coach Whatmore after an irresponsible second ball swipe in the previous match against South Africa so we can expect him to come out with a determined frame of mind. 

Hafeez – The captain of the side has delivered in all matches so far, let it be with bat or ball. In hindsight appointing him captain of this side in this format has turned out to be a good move, although it was a risky one at the time. Hafeez has bowled exceedingly economically against India during the semi-final in Mohali and Asia Cup match in Dhaka, both times completing his 10 over quota. He also batted well in both games, looking in good touch, although played a daft shot in the world cup semi-final to throw his wicket away against Munaf Patel when he was going along so well. 
Ajmal – The number 1 ranked bowler in this format is yet to play India in this format of the game. Ajmal was one of the better bowlers on show during the warm up match. In ODIs Ajmal has made the Indians look ordinary with 9 wickets in 5 matches. Pakistan will need a strong showing from their best player. So far Ajmal has taken 5 wickets in the competition for the first 3 games including a 4 wicket haul against New Zealand in Pakistan’s opening fixture of the comp.

Prediction

The chasing side will win in a high scoring game. India have to win to stay in the competition whereas Pakistan can play with less pressure as this is not necessarily a must win game for them. This should help Pakistan and they have a very good chance to win this important match and the biggest of the tournament so far.

1 comment:

  1. Can any one else carry the flag for India other than Kholi. This guy is going to burn out one day then who will lift that flag. Although Ashwin, Yuvraj & Balaji played very well can their performance be guaranteed like Kholi that is the big question yet to answered. Anyway, if India continue to play in this vein with commitment and positive energy then beating SA is a possibility, but it is going take some doing.

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