Pakistan's tour of India: Five years later, the rivalry resumes...

Published: December 25, 2012

The first of the five matches on the tour takes place today with the Pakistan Cricket Board hoping a return leg of the series takes place next year. PHOTO: FILE AFP

Pakistan have never beaten India in a Twenty20.

The psychological advantage – despite the recent Test series humiliation – will be with India when the two sides kick-off their first bilateral series in almost five years at Bangalore tonight. Sachin Tendulkar does not play the shortest format but it will be his absence from the 50-over squad that will give Pakistan hope.

The outcome of either series is impossible to predict – as is the case with every match that involves these two sides. The last time these two teams met, India emerged convincing victors – an eight-wicket thrashing in the 2012 World Twenty20 after reducing Pakistan to 128. This time, however, Sohail Tanvir reckons the tourists have an edge due to their fast-bowlers.

“India’s current fast-bowlers are not experienced,” said Tanvir, who last played a Twenty20 against India in 2007. “Although they have played in the IPL, international cricket is different. Right now, India doesn’t have a fixed pace attack. They’re not sure who to play. It is an advantage for us that they are lacking in the fast bowling department.”

Personally, Tanvir is happy to be in India where he ended the 2008 IPL as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker.

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“Fortunately, I have always done well in India. I bowled well the last time we toured here, and I had a lot of success in the IPL as well. The pitches in India and Pakistan are almost similar to each other and having played a lot of cricket here will definitely help.”

Pakistan will miss the service of left-arm spinner Raza Hasan, who was handed the responsibility of opening the bowling in the mega event earlier this year. But with captain Mohammad Hafeez also planning to break through India’s defences with pace, Shahid Afridi, Saeed Ajmal and Hafeez himself will prove to be more than handful with the ball.

“Indian batting is well known all over the world,” said Hafeez. “But winning or losing does not depend only on batting. Bowling will also have a major role. When we see our team, both batting and bowling is very good. So, our bowlers can negotiate the strong Indian batting line-up.”

India, meanwhile, will go into the series unchanged from the England matches despite worry over its bowling department, hoping for an improved show against Pakistan.

The second Twenty20 takes place in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Raj Kafir
    Dec 25, 2012 - 7:20AM

    My Prediction? India Team is tired, demoralised and without fabulous icons. Pakistan Team is rested, relaxed and hungry. Pakistan will beat India very comfortably.

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  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 25, 2012 - 10:51AM

    @Raj Kafir:
    In my opinion/thinking India has better batting line than Pakistan and most importantly India shall have home crowd and home ground advantage.This is why India has more chances to win against Pakistan than Pakistan and further that team shall win which shall play very well and shall show excellent performance in batting,fielding and bowling……

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  • spyderM
    Dec 25, 2012 - 11:11AM

    @Raj Kafir:
    i think the issue is more with the indian bowling. i watched both series against england and am quite shocked at the disparity between indias batting and bowling prowess. Dinda and Awana would not even make the pakistan under 19 side with such bowling. However, the batting will be strong as ever- kohli raina yuvraj and dhoni all have the potential to turn a match on its head

    PS I like your name

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  • Raj Kafir
    Dec 25, 2012 - 11:16PM

    @spyderM: Thanks for liking my name. Kafir is my pen name for ET otherwise I am a Canadian Sikh. I am glad my prediction came true. It is time for Pakistan to celebrate and I congratulate them. They are also sons of mothers. In Punjabi OH VI MAA’VAn DE PUTT HANN.

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