|Funny that Dhoni needs a leggie who can pick wickets and Afridi needs a wk who can hold on to the ball. Eh?|
The tournament has had its highs, lows, Canada et al. But, cricket fantasy is set to come true in Mohali during the second semi-final of the ICC World Cup with the mother, father, Godzilla of all battles!! Arch rivals India-Pakistan to battle it out for pride, glory, world peace and tumbling stock markets. This is what the
They blew the Windies out the competition in the QF. Afridi has been their strike bowler. He has done nothing wrong with the ball , which has been compensated by doing nothing right with the bat. Gul has been top notch, both with the new ball as well as the old one. Pakistan's batting has been a bit wobbly with the reliability of Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi. Umar "Leprechaun" Akmal has been their 'go-to' man. Razzaq has gone un-noticed with the bat/ball this time, Afridi has used him only as a stock bowler. Afridi will be tempted to play Akthar in place of Razzaq to hurt the Indians. Its good to see Akthar tone down his bowling as well as his attitude and play with the team rather than playing against them which he is always used to. He would like to peak in against India like any other guy in the team . Their fielding has been mediocre, thanks to the one man army behind the wickets.
India started off their campaign as favorites and then they were the punching bag for most critics. But, in the QF they knocked out the defending champions Australia, ending their 12 year old reign over the World Cup. With the heroic win against Aussies, hopes of 1billion + hearts stay afloat. India's bowling was their main weakness, no one except for Zaheer standing up to the occasion. Now with the entry of Ashwin, it seems to have got a combination going for them. Though, MSD would be tempted to play Nehra/Sree in Mohali, he would play the same winning combination against the Stanis. After all, his dil-logical decisions have been successful. Indian batting has looked good, except in the batting powerplay where they seem to get a "brain freeze". Those maddening 5 overs have cost them a lot. Again Raina's entry as the finisher has helped them stabilize. Indian fielding, though it was looking rough in the group stages improved exponentially against the Aussies. Or as MSD says, they could do no better.
Sehwag K Akmal
Dhoni U Akmal
Nehra*(12th) Razzaq* (12th)
Man to man the teams look well balanced. Although, the tons and tons of runs and experience of the Indian top-order and the depth and variety in Pakistani bowling will be the key battle to win the war.
- Sachin-Viru Vs Akthar-Gul
- Gambhir Vs Afridi
- Zaheer-Ashwin Vs Pakistan Openers
- Yuvraj Vs Umar
Not so much Trivia
-Yuvraj has won 4 m.o.m awards so far in the world cup.
-Pakistan have never beaten India in world cup competitions.
-India have never beaten Pakistan at Mohali.
-India has never crossed the Semis in world cups held in India (sub-continent).
-SRT is on 99 international centuries & yet to win a world cup (in case you missed. haha!).
Both India and Pakistan will be on a high beating some good teams and reaching the WC semis. It's "war time" for the 22 players, do-or-die would never have sound more apt. Its not just a "game" for the two countries, its a question of superiority, pride, everlasting glory and endorsement deals. Well of course!