COLOMBO: Pakistan will look to extend their dominant form and put India on the brink of elimination when the old foes clash in the World Twenty20 Super Eights match today.
Pakistan have never beaten India in either the 50-over World Cup or the World Twenty20, but Hafeez’s men start as favourites in the much-awaited Super Eights game.
Pakistan are the team in form, winning both matches in the preliminary league before stunning top-ranked South Africa by two wickets in their first Super Eights game on Friday. In contrast, Australia annihilated India by nine wickets later the same evening, leaving Dhoni’s men needing to beat Pakistan and South Africa to stay in contention for the semi-finals.
But if Australia beat South Africa and Pakistan defeat India in today’s double-header, both winners will advance to the semi-finals from what was billed as the “group of death”.
As far as Pakistan are concerned, they are on cloud nine following their unexpected win over South Africa Saturday. It was a win against all odds considering they were 76 for 7 at one time in their pursuit of 134. Pakistan’s batting and bowling, both seems in order. Mohd Hafeez, Imran Nazir, the Akmal brothers can make any bowling side lose sleep. Their bowling is no less, Umar Gul, Shahid Afidi, and Saeed Ajmal are damn good bowlers. There have been calls for Abdul Razzaq’s inclusion but it’s highly unlikely that Pakistan would want to change their winning set.
Dhoni has to bring Sehwag back for the sake of the team. Sehwag does not fear any bowler and India need him for the high-octane match.
India and Pakistan have played two T20Is so far, both in the 2007 World Cup. The group match was tied while the final was won by Dhoni’s men.