Whenever there is an India-Pakistan match over a billion people hold their collective breaths to see which team will rule the roost for the day. The most awaited match of the Asia Cup, India vs Pakistan, is round the corner and has turned out to be one of the decisive matches of the tournament. What was being billed as a dress rehearsal for the Final has turned into a virtual semi-final for India following their surprise loss to hosts Bangladesh on Friday.
Pakistan has had better of India on most occasions and lead the ODIs wins tally 69-47 but has never won against India in any of the World Cup matches played. The month of March has been especially unkind to Pakistan where the matches against their neighbor are concerned. Four of the five ODI World Cup matches between the two teams have been played in the month of March with Pakistan ending up on the losing side in all of them.
It was all smooth sailing for India till they got a rude shock in the form of a resurgent Bangladesh team. Tendulkar had finally got his 100th century and India had posted a formidable 289. Then the Indian bowling was exposed big time by the Bangladesh batsmen. It will be the bowling that will be the major concern for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni come Sunday when India take on arch rivals Pakistan.
Pakistan come into the match with the knowledge that they have reached the final on the back of a clinical performance against Sri Lanka. They also come into the match with the knowledge that they have a chance to knock India out of the tournament. Whether that will serve as motivation enough for them to go into the match determined to win is to be seen.
Overall it should be a cracker of a game between the games fiercest arch-rivals. India have everything to play for and Pakistan have a chance to knock India out of the tournament.
India Teams: 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Mahendra Singh Dhoni(c&wk), 7 Yusuf Pathan/ Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin/ Rahul Sharma, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Vinay Kumar
Pakistan Team: 1 Mohammed Hafeez, 2 Nasir Jamshed, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Misbah ul haq(c), 5 Umar Akmal, 6 Hammad Azam, 7 Shahid Afridi, 8 Safraz Ahmed(wk), 9 Umar Gul, 10 Saeed Ajmal, 11 Aizaz Cheema