There has been a lot of competition in the World Cup for which would be the biggest game of the tournament. Well, we’ve arrived at the destination. India take on Pakistan in what will definitely be bigger than the final itself. Normally, on skill, this match wouldn’t have been that big a deal. But the fact that these colonial cousins have a big history, in rivalry, on every possible front means that this semi-final is worth more than cricket. BUT, I’m here to analyze the cricket. So, lets take a look.
Most runs scored
Yuvraj Singh is back. And with him, comes the entire Indian middle order. The top order has been fantastic so far, but the middle order has consisted only of Yuvraj Singh and thankfully, he has been getting runs. Other than that, the Indian batting doesn’t say much.
Luckily for India, it’s a similar situation in the Pakistani batting camp. But they look more stable in the middle order with the presence of the vast experience that Younus Khan and Misbah bring. Umar Akmal has shown a steady head too. It’s only after- and including- Afridi, that Pakistan will have problems. But, given the performance of the Indian bowling so far, they probably wont need that part of their batting.
Available odds: Tendulkar @ 4.00; Sehwag @ 5.00; Gambhir @ 5.50; Kohli/Yuvraj @ 6.00; Hafeez @ 4.75; K.Akmal @ 5.00; Shafiq/Khan @ 5.50; Misbah @ 6.00; U.Akmal @ 6.50
that_guy’s picks: Gambhir @ 5.50; Younus Khan @ 5.50
The Indian bowling still doesn’t inspire. That Yuvraj is the highest wicket taker after Zaheer Khan shows the absence of the regular bowlers. Harbhajan Singh, in particular, has been extremely disappointing so far. Ashwin has done well every time he has bowled and has done what the fast bowlers were supposed to- bowl in the power plays. How much longer will India survive on the oppositions’ mistakes?
Pakistan, though, have the strongest bowling in the World Cup, as of now. The only thing to look out for is whether they will choose emotion over profession and play Shoaib Akhtar in what could be his last shot at cricketing glory. That apart, their bowling looks extremely balanced. The postponed inclusion of Saeed Ajmal has done wonders to that bowling and they will depend on him to keep the batsmen guessing whilst Afridi goes berserk on the other end.
Available odds: Zaheer @ 3.75; Harbhajan @ 4.00; Ashwin @ 5.00; Yuvraj @ 5.50; Afridi @ 3.50; Ajmal/Gul @ 4.50; Akhtar @ 5.50; Hafeez/Riaz @ 6.00
that_guy’s picks: Zaheer @ 3.75; Ajmal @ 4.50
On bowling, Pakistan. On fielding, India. On batting, there’s not much to call this. However, on spirit- and the added home advantage- India should sneak through here.
Available odds: India @ 1.57; Pakistan @ 2.37
that_guy’s pick: India @ 1.57
[All odds taken from 888sport]