The biggest match at this Twenty20 World Cup will be played today at Kolkata in front of over 70,000 fans: India vs Pakistan. The tensions between these nations are notorious, and the cricketing relations in the last couple of years have been strained since the terrorist bombing of Mumbai in 2008 by muslim radicals. Since than, pakistani players have not been selected to play in Indian Premier League and the interaction between these two nations cricket wise has been reduced to a minimum. The last time these two sides have met was last month in Bangladesh in Asia Cup, than the indians won but they struggled to chase a modicum total after a fiery spell by the troubled wonderkid of Pakistan, Mohammad Amir. India, having a very good and balanced squad also hosting this event and playing in favorable conditions, on wickets conducive to spin has been touted as the BIG favorite to win the title. They started in Nagpur, the managed to keep New Zealand to a low total of only 126 but struggled to pick the NZ spinners (Santner, McCullum and Ish Sodhi), so they lost badly, scoring only 79 also damaging their net run rate. Another loss today and they will pretty much be out of the competition after only few days into this World Cup. Pakistan on the other hand has been impressive against Bangladesh, they won by 55 runs, their batting which is considered to be their achilles heel has been very solid posting 201 runs on the boad. Pakistan has an impressive fast attack spearheded by Mohammad Amir that also include Wahab Riaz and the 2,16 m giant Mohammad Irfan. But the Kolkata pitch is rather sluggish favoring spin, so India sould have the advantage here with Ashwin, Jadeja maybe even Raina as an part time option depending on the conditions and how much the pakistani struggle against spin. Pakistan on a good day could prove to be a nuisance but India overall are better in pretty much every department except for the fast bowling department. Kohli&Co. thought they've already won against NZ so they squandered a rather easy chase but that defeat could prove to be a blessing in disguise, one that hardens them. I expect India to be very dominant today and win by quite a healthy margin today.
|India -4,5 wickets/ -16,5 runs
||Postponed (rain) PUSH (Stake return)|