Monday, December 24, 2012

Preview, T20, India versus Pakistan, Bangalore

Being an unashamed Test snob, I must admit that I have little or no interest in T20 Cricket, but when the match involves India versus Pakistan after a 4 year absence the sheer passion of the clash compels me to one finger tap my keyboard. To try to give homage to a rivalry between the two that for sheer gravity and the scale of emotions it covers has no compare any where in Sport.

A perfect portrayal of the immense 'feel' between the two by
Abhishek Purohit 

India v Pakistan will always be a coming together of shared history, culture, language, fear, hopes, love, hatred.....

India v Pakistan will always convert a neutral venue into a sea of flags of the two countries....

India v Pakistan will always do strange things to players; it will drain flair out of those who have it, and it will inject flair into those who haven't had it till then, and won't have it thereafter....

India v Pakistan will always make temporary fans out of people who run away from cricket otherwise....

It gives you Chicken skin reading this, and even as an outside like I ( Irish ) it invites you into the sheer theatre of what is about to transpire between the two. With nothing ever predictable in these games the only real certainty is the pristine glory that you know will be ever present within the glorious uncertainty between the two.

By writing this, I have undertaken a role to try to pick a winner in a match where Cricket is the winner and we are all thankful for that fact. With the resumption of this rivalry what Cricket so needed and a perfect way to usher in a New Year full of new hopes.

But enough of me being a Pussy, and time to try to pick a winner!

Likely Teams


The Indians have a Squad full of youngsters, which is perfect for this incendiary style of the game. In their previous T20 game a few days back against the English, their batting was stellar only to have their victory march undone by some Eoin Morgan magic victimising their bowling.

So the composition of their Team will depend on how they judge that loss. I think they will just doff their Caps to Morgans brillance and keep faith in their Team.

Leaving the Team as follows:

Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (capt, wkt), R Ashwin, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Parvinder Awana

We have not seen our Pakistani friends for a while, but going on the vibes coming from their fans this is their likely starting 11

Shahzad, Nasir, Hafeez, Kamran, Malik, Umar, Afridi, Tanvir, Gul, Ajmal, Irfan

Who Wins and Why?

It is about as tough as picking a broken nose to pick a winner between these two because of the emotions that so govern the play.

The task becomes even more difficult when you look at the Teams on paper and come to the conclusion that they are virtual mirror images of each other

With India being super strong in its batting with some T20 genius's with willow in hand, but then having major questions over their bowling


Pakistan has major questions over its batting, but have some real buzz saws in its bowling unit highlighted by the Masterful Saeed Ajmal

Meaning the game will be decided on which team covers their weakness the best while at the same time being able to victimise the oppositions weakness.

On this point I have more trust in India

Especially when you take into account that the basis of Pakistan's bowling might is their spin corps with India's batsmen being the stuff of spinners nightmares.

To turn this around, a lot will depend on Pakistan's pacemen to get early wickets to allow the spinners to have the pressure of the scoreboard in their favour when they take on the Indian batsmen.

Away from this concern the toss will be decisive with it in my mind representing a 20 run benefit due to the pressure that will come onto the Team chasing.

Win it, bat first, and ensure you set a total even at the expense of putting some more adventurous batting to bed and playing more traditionally

With the knowledge that a lacklustre total of 120 in any other game representing a potential Everest to climb in this one


Cricket is the winner from this game

But I think India will prevail with Pakistan's batting letting it down

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