1: 35 PM GMT
The RetroPreview by Saurabh Somani
It has become fairly of a vogue to non-public no doubt one of the showpieces suits of the World Cup round one month into the tournament. From a logistics and broadcasting level of witness it makes sense: either India v Pakistan injects new life into a tournament that would be flagging fairly, or it boosts an already high-flying tournament extra. In 1996 and 1999, the match up took space after the crew phases, and so owed fairly to success. This time, both India and Pakistan are in the same crew, and the finish of the fundamental round is in witness.
Right here’s India’s final league match. Pakistan non-public one more in hand, against Zimbabwe, for which the forecast is now not too radiant.
India are greater placed, having shrugged off the starting blues of a huffing and puffing victory over the Netherlands and a crushing nine-wicket defeat to Australia to string together wins against Zimbabwe, Namibia and England. Pakistan non-public had nearly the same results as India – with the fundamental difference being they were crushed by England.
The more subtle difference to this India-Pakistan match-up is that for the fundamental time in World Cups, India enter this game as favourites. In the course of the 1990s, Pakistan were the stronger facet. Even even though they never managed to beat India in a World Cup match – an aberration that is threatening to plot shut on the form of a bogey now – they’d the greater results bilaterally and total. Now, it is India who’re the stronger facet. The resurgence that began at the flip of the century below the designate of the Sourav Ganguly-John Wright duo has supposed India non-public frequently become a higher force.
That has coincided with Pakistan’s cream of the 1990s having handed their peaks.
That acknowledged, the Pakistan bowling is restful one that inspires fright. Wasim Akram already has 12 wickets, second-highest in the tournament. Shoaib Akhtar is rarely genuinely too far in the serve of, but his ten wickets non-public approach at a high economic system of 5.29. Captain Waqar Younis has had a quieter time.
As has historically been the case, the battle that can win presumably the most attention is that of India’s batsmen against Pakistan’s bowlers. That high economic system rate of Akhtar’s will deserve to be reined in against the Sachin Tendulkar–Virender Sehwag opening combo. Tendulkar, in allege, has hit the zone on this tournament. Already the leading bustle-scorer, his 371 runs are almost thrice as many as Pakistan’s leading bustle-getter Yousuf Youhana, who has 128.
Ganguly and Rahul Dravid non-public moreover been amongst the runs. With India’s Colossal Three in win, and the handsome talents of Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif round them, India’s batting appears to be like to be like settled after their rocky launch. The bowling would be what provides India an edge. Their tempo trio of Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra would perchance well now not fairly non-public the ring of Akram-Akhtar-Younis to it, but they’ve approach together properly on this tournament. Nehra, significantly, will be flying high. He slipped and fell on after bowling right one ball against Namibia. There had been distress fears about his reputedly at all times-brittle body, but three days later, he destroyed England with 6 for 23.
So while the India’s batsmen against Pakistan’s bowlers battle will be riveting, the one between India’s improved bowlers and Pakistan’s faltering batsmen would perchance well new equally decisive.
India WWWLW (final 5 accomplished ODIs, most recent first)
Within the spotlight
He used to be the fundamental wicket on this match-up in 1996 and 1999. He used to be a genuinely main wicket in 1992, and acquired Man of the Match then. And Sachin Tendulkar remains to be the wicket all opposition captains prefer above all others in 2003 as properly. He has already long gone where no man has in ODI cricket, the fundamental to spoiled the 10,000-bustle impress, and it is worthy how central he has been to India’s fortunes for higher than a decade now.
He has been a rejuvenated man on this tournament, serve at his favourite opening put. From Would possibly 2002 till the Contemporary Zealand series right before the launch of this World Cup, Tendulkar has batted at No. 4 (twice at No. 3). Nonetheless on the double theory of ‘give your ultimate batsman as many balls to face as conceivable’ and ‘let your ultimate batsman bat where he feels most pleased’ – India non-public handed the opening put serve to Tendulkar. The consequences non-public proven straight away. His lowest ranking in 5 suits thus far is 36, and he’s hit now not now not up to a half of-century in every of the assorted innings.
Pakistan deserve to preserve out what no varied bowling assault has managed thus far in the tournament, and win Tendulkar before he hits his plod. It be a vanishingly minute window.
Wasim Akram went wicket-less in 1992, used to be compelled to pull out right before the match in 1996 to a mountainous controversy, and had a respectable time out in 1999 without his in vogue wizardry. Now 37, it is now not going he’s going to win one other tilt at India in a World Cup game. He needs to summon up one magic burst, preferably at the head of the innings to position India’s vaunted batting line-up on the serve foot. He’s coming off a 5-wicket haul – albeit against Namibia – but he’s proven that flashes of the aged genius restful live. Akram had to cop extensive criticism in the wake of the 1996 loss. He has seen higher than most how an India-Pakistan match can create or mar fortunes. His legacy would perchance well now not win plagued by a failure on this game, but success right here would perchance well right add a pleasant puny bow to a legendary career that is in its twilight.
India non-public proven a marked prefer for an assault comprising three seamers and a spinner thus far, and there might perchance be no reason to take into account that can exchange. Khan, Srinath and Nehra non-public manned the tempo assault, while Harbhajan Singh has been most neatly-favored over Anil Kumble, absolute self assurance gaining an edge attributable to his higher batting and fielding chops. India can non-public the funds for to head with four specialist bowlers finest because numerous of their batsmen bowl. They’ll call on any of Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Ganguly or Dinesh Mongia to bring just a few overs.
Having strung together a profitable sequence since that loss to Australia, India would perchance well want to follow their combination and tactics.
India (skill): 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Sachin Tendulkar, 3 Sourav Ganguly (capt), 4 Dinesh Mongia, 5 Rahul Dravid (wk), 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Mohammad Kaif, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Zaheer Khan, 10 Javagal Srinath, 11 Ashish Nehra
Pakistan haven’t had as settled a line-up as India, even though they’d well want to non-public in thoughts bringing serve the mercurially proficient Shahid Afridi for this encounter. In a match of nerves, his insouciant X-element would perchance well tilt the scales against Pakistan. Within the occasion that they create serve Afridi, the man to leave out out would be either Taufeeq Umar or Saleem Elahi, even though being an opener would perchance well give Umar some cushion.
Pakistan (skill): 1 Taufeeq Umar, 2 Saeed Anwar, 3 Abdul Razzaq, 4 Inzamam-ul-Haq, 5 Yousuf Youhana, 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Rashid Latif (wk), 8 Wasim Akram, 9 Waqar Younis (capt), 10 Shoaib Akhtar, 11 Saqlain Mushtaq
Pitch and cases
The SuperSport Park in Centurion will be in the Highveld in South Africa, but it can well non-public a subcontinental air to it approach March 1. India beat South Africa in the very first ODI held right here in 1992, but their thrashing by the fingers of Australia per week ago used to be moreover at this venue. The pitch needs to be a correct one-day wicket, with runs on offer, and the match is rarely genuinely going to be threatened by rain.
Since his debut, Saeed Anwar is no doubt one of finest three openers to non-public made higher than 8000 ODI runs as an opener. Finest Tendulkar (9114) and Sanath Jayasuriya (8302) are before him in that length.