BY | December 28, 2012

Scoreboard

India 192/5 (20/20 ov)
G Gambhir     lbw b Umar Gul     21
AM Rahane     c & b Umar Gul     28
V Kohli     run out (Saeed Ajmal)     27
Yuvraj Singh     c Shoaib Malik b Umar Gul 72
MS Dhoni*†     b Umar Gul     33
SK Raina     not out     1
RG Sharma     not out     4
Extras     (lb 5, nb 1)     6

Pakistan innings (target: 193 runs from 20 overs)
Nasir Jamshed     c Kohli b Ashwin     41
Ahmed Shehzad     st †Dhoni b Yuvraj Singh     31
Umar Akmal     b Dinda     24
Mohammad Hafeez*     c Raina b Dinda     55
Shahid Afridi     c RG Sharma b Kumar     11
Kamran Akmal†     c Kohli b Dinda     5
Shoaib Malik     not out     3
Umar Gul     c Rahane b I Sharma     5
Extras     (lb 2, w 4)     6
Total         181     (9.05 runs per over)

India vs Pakistan cricketing ties are being revived in a historic series that didn’t begin well for India. The last match played in Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore ended in a humiliating defeat for the host nation. After almost five years, the revival of cricketing ties between two sworn enemies is being cheered by the cricket fans who are always eager to watch the best cricket that the two sides always bring out due to the fact that pressure is immense and expectations very high from fans of both the nations.

Though right now both the teams are not in their best forms and India recently got a drubbing from England that beat India to win the test series, Pakistani team is also not very strong due to its innate weaknesses and the lack of cohesion in the team. Their top batting line-up has been broken like India’s and both the teams more or less rely on young blood. But to be true, like great batting players that the two teams had these youngsters are not very dependable so far and they have not been very consistent.

Notwithstanding the weaknesses in both the teams, around 1.5 billion population of both the countries is very excited before the beginning of the second match. Though today’s match is just a T20 match, the excitement in the air is very high.

With the thumping victory for Pakistan in the first cricket match and the unimpressive performance by the Indian batting order, the second match is going to be a test for the host nation as to how it revives its fortunes. Batting being the strength of the Indian cricket team thus far, it was really disappointing to see Indian team wilt under pressure. After a very good opening partnership, the way India gave up the fight was all the more disappointing for an Indian cricket fans. The loss against England in the test match was big, but a defeat from Pakistani seems to be sourer than by anything else.

So far Indian team was better placed to beat Pakistan at least in T20 matches. But given its weaknesses in bowling and an inconsistent batting order, Indian team doesn’t assure its billion place fan base. Many cricket commentators had said that IPL will help Indian team to excel in the shortest version of the game. But the IPL doesn’t seem to have done much to improve India’s Twenty20 performances either. Their previous three World Twenty20 campaigns have been lacklustre, and their fabled batting line up looks lost. Only one batsman cannot win matches. Virat Kohli is the only consistent performer for team India, but he cannot perform in every match and win the day for India.

Pakistan have always been a better side when it comes to bowling. Their fast bowlers have always been better compared to what we had. But now their bowling is far more balanced and comes with very good combination of pace and spin.

But Indian fans hope that India is able to bring its house in order and Indian batsmen including Sehwag, Gambhir, Dhoni, Yuvraj and Kohli are able to perform superbly with the bat. India has won tens of tournaments on the strength of its batsmen and they will have to perform well to help the team win this match as well. They are capable of it and the nation needs it urgently.

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