By Shashi Agarwal
It’s second of March and the whole cricketing world is looking forward to perhaps the biggest 50 over blockbuster of the year, India vs Pakistan.It will in all terms be a sort of a knock out match, with Srilanka having almost booked a berth in the finals.When these 2 teams clash, lot more than just cricket is involved and energy of the players from both teams is worth watching.
Looking at the batting of both sidess, India looks a far more formidable batting side with some match winners at the top of the order.Also the batting depth is something that gives them an edge with someone like Binny coming at 9.While India will rely heavily on Dhawan and Kohli to build a platform, Pakistan will depend on Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah to build a launching platform for the likes of Afridi and Umar Akmal.The problem with India will still be the lack of a quality finisher and this is the only batting aspect where Pakistan has a better resource with Akmal finding form at the right time.
In terms of bowling ,Pakistan have a better record and resources to go with.While the encounter will be basically India’s batting with Pakistan’s bowling.With the match being in subcontinent, it just reduces the potential threat caused by the Pakistan pacers as there won’t be much help for them.Also, India will be comfortable operating with spinners in the middle overs.The Pakistan batting line up won’t be a big mountain to climb for the Indian bowlers and they will have their task cut out.It will be interesting to see if India persists with Binny in the 11,relying on him for 10 overs.To be fare to Binny, he is a batting all rounder who bats higher up the order in the domestic scene and can chip in with some useful overs. But with him coming at 9,his batting potential is wasted and going for an specialist bowler would seem more sensible.In the Pakistan line up, Anwar Ali might have to make way for Bhatti.
Rayadu’s form is a concern for India and he may be replaced by Pujara just to make the top order more solid.Afridi’s form with the bat is a concern, but with the bowl he is as deadly as ever.But the pathan from Pakistan can be expected to fire any day. India’s fielding was woeful in their clash with Srilanka and was a major reason for their loss but in anycase they remain a better fielding side than Pakistan.