ICC World T20 2012: Sehwag, Balaji in as Pakistan elect to bat against India

The only problem for Pakistan has been Shahid Afridi’s sharp dip in form with the willow which at times does hamper Pakistan’s batting prospects Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Colombo: Sep 30, 2012

Pakistan captain Mohammad Hafeez won toss and elected to bat against India in the Super Eights clash of the World T20 on Sunday.

India brought back opener Virender Sehwag and Laxmipathy Balaji in place of Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla.

Humiliated by Australia in their opening Super Eights match, a jittery India will have to pick up the pieces from their all-round failure and come up with an inspired performance.

The Indian team looked completely out of sorts against Australia and they now have to quickly address their woes in all departments of the game when they take on an upbeat Pakistan, who had beaten South Africa in a thriller, if they want to remain afloat in the tournament.

India’s five bowler strategy was a big hit against England in the group match but in conducive conditions against Australia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s frontline spinners were hammered by Shane Watson-David Warner duo in last night’s match.

Pakistan are far superior players of spin bowling and consistency has never been Chawla’s forte as he is primarily a rhythm bowler. On their day, the likes of Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez can take Chawla to the cleaners — something Dhoni can’t afford at this juncture of the tournament.

The Indian team also has their share of batting worries, says a Press Trust of India report. The Indian batsmen in the three matches so far in the tournament have been able hit only seven sixes (four vs Afghans, one vs England and two vs Australia) while Watson alone has hit seven sixes against India on Friday.

While skipper Mohammad Hafeez, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Ajmal are automatic choices, there is a chance that Pakistan may play Mohammad Sami who, with his raw pace, can be a bit of an enforcer.

The only problem for Pakistan has been Afridi’s sharp dip in form with the willow which at times does hamper Pakistan’s batting prospects.

A lot will also depend on Pakistan’s most talented young batsman Umar Akmal who on his day can take apart any bowling attack in the world.

Teams

India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Irfan Pathan, Laxmipathy Balaji, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan.

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (c), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wK), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Shahid Afridi, Yasir Arafat, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan.

Catch the live score & ball-by-ball commentary of India-Pakistan clash of Super Eights, World T20 here

Points Table

ICC Twenty20 World Cup 2012: Match time table with group details

Video: Watch the preview to the India-Pakistan clash at the ICC World T20 2012.

Video: See what fans have to say about the upcoming India-Pakistan clash

Video: Watch a post-match analysis of India’s defeat to Australia

Video: Watch a post-match analysis of Pakistan’s thrilling victory over South Africa