Saturday, 19 March 2016

Survival at stake as India take on Pakistan!

Jolted by the shock loss to New Zealand in the opening game, India will be fighting a survival battle quite early in the tournament when they take on arch-rivals Pakistan in what is being seen as the marquee clash of the ICC World T20 in Kolkata.

The hosts, who started clear title-favorites, were in for a blow in the first match itself when New Zealand's spinners bamboozled their famed batting line-up on a turning Nagpur track. 

As a result, the World No. 1 side is staring at an early elimination should it lose to Pakistan in the high-voltage today at the Eden Gardens.

As is the case with most Indo-pak contests, this game too has been preceded by its share of drama.

The match was originally scheduled to be held in Dharamshala but was shifted here after the Himachal Pradesh government expressed inability to provide security to the Pakistan team owing to protests by ex-servicemen and their families.

Next was the delay in Pakistan's arrival due security concerns but the side eventually relented after repeated assurances from BCCI, CAB and West Bengal government.

The political undercurrents aside, the game assumes immense significance for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men after the opening loss.

Pakistan on the other hand, would look to break the jinx of never beating India in an ICC event and they would be buoyed by the comprehensive win over Bangladesh in the tournament-opener.

However, dubbed the most unpredictable team in the world for a good reason, Pakistan wilt under pressure every time they meet India in an ICC world event.

Given the record, India do have the edge on paper and the team's undire-fire batsmen will look redeem themselves after their capitulation against the Kiwis while chasing a modest 127.

However, Pakistand also did splendid job in brushing aside the off-field furore which was triggered by skipper Shahid Afridi's comments that his players get more love here than back home.

With a legal notice on the skipper back home, it was the worse that could have happened to the 2009 champions who were already short on match practice and suffered early elimination in the recently concluded Asia Cup.

But Afridi led by example with a 19-ball 49 and followed it up with his 2/27 in their huge 55-run win over Bangladesh.

Given the circumstances, it is hard to pick a favorite  but the stage is perfectly set for an enthralling contest which is to be played to a full house.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Women's World Cup: England beat India by nine runs in thrilling final at Lord's!

Anya Shrubsole bowled England to a dramatic nine-run win over India in the Women's World Cup final at Lord's on Sunday. India,...