I’ll get in there quick before the game gets underway.
Roll on the cliches. More than a game etc etc etc.
Ignore the politics for the moment – this is a fascinating contest because it is cricket in it’s purest form, bat versus ball.
Now that India have won the toss, the stats would say there is no way Pakistan can win this.
Their top batsman, Umar Akmal, has scored 211 runs in the tournament so far. He’s their only guy over 200 runs. India have four batsmen over 300 runs (Tendulkar, Sehwag, Yuvraj), and two more (Gambir and Kohli) with more than Umar Akmal. Sure Pakistan have played in different countries on trickier pitches, but no one can dispute the difference in quality between the top-orders.
In the bowling, Afridi has more wickets than anyone, 21 at 10. Then Gul has 14, but after that it’s down to Hafeez with seven. The point is that Pakistan are just as reliant, if not for pressure then wickets, on two bowlers as India are on Zaheer Khan (17) and surprisingly Yuvraj (11).
I think India are better chasing, but if their batsmen can set a decent target it’s difficult to see how a Pakistan lineup who have topped 200 twice in seven games will get near it, so Pakistan will need to roll them over. But somehow I fancy Pakistan. Over to you Boom Boom.