SuperSport Park, Centurion – Saturday, September 26, 2009 (D/N)
India are the slight favourites going into this eagerly awaited contest between the two bitter (off the field anyway) rivals from the sub-continent. The fact that this match is not a straight knock out could be the reason why it hasn’t been hyped up as much as usual.
Both sides have problems going into this game. For India they are being forced to show what strength in depth they have with Yuvraj picking up an injury and joining the already injured pair of Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan on the sidelines and out of the competition.
The absence of Sehway and Yuvraj is a big blow but India have other fine batsmen well able to play the 50 over format. The real test is how they cope without Zaheer Khan, for a few years now he has been the spearhead of the attack and how the other bowlers cope with his absence will be interesting to see.
Pakistan seem to have the opposite problem. Their bowling unit seems to be one of the more accomplished ones in this tournament – so much so that it looks like there will still be no place for Mohammad Asif. The batting is a different matter though, they struggled badly against West Indies on what was to be fair a bowler friendly wicket, but it still looks a bit lightweight at times.
At least they have Younis Khan returning to bolster it after he sat out the West Indies match, along with Mohammad Yousuf, these two will be key to the team with their experience.
India – Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C & WK), Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, RP Singh, Ishant Sharma,
Pakistan – Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal (WK), Younis Khan (C), Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Yousuf, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal