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06 December 2023

Pakistan celebrate stunning win over world champions India

By Cricket Correspondent and Agencies

Pakistanis engaged in frenzied celebrations after a thrilling Asia Cup win against India, with one boy killed by jubilant firing in the air.

Dashing all-rounder Shahid Afridi hit two sixes off the final over to seal a one-wicket win in Dhaka in a crucial match.

The victory was watched by millions in the entertainment-starved country, and young people jammed the streets of Karachi till late into the night.

But celebrations were marred by tragedy in the southern city of Hyderabad where the boy was killed, senior police official Mir Farid Jan Sarhandi said.

Paramilitary Rangers were eventually called in to disperse jubilant youngsters in parts of Karachi.

Youths carrying green Pakistan flags and pictures of Afridi hailed the win as "a huge moment".

"Afridi has made us proud," said Khalid Shah. "Any win over India is just like winning the World Cup, so we are out to savour this."

Property tycoon Malik Riaz announced he would give Afridi a residential plot in a newly built housing scheme in Karachi, saying the all-rounder has made the nation proud.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Najam Sethi said the win would lift Pakistan at international level.

"Pakistan's win has proved that we cannot be left isolated," Sethi said in a television interview, referring to changes within cricket's governing body last month that gave more power to the so-called Big Three of England, Australia, and India.

The proposal was approved at an International Cricket Council meeting in Singapore.

"Pakistan will go on and win the Asia Cup and then the World Twenty20 to prove that we are a top cricketing nation," said Sethi.

The next edition of the World Twenty20 will also be held in Bangladesh, from March 16-April 6.
Pakistan previously won the event in 2009.

Cricketing contests between Pakistan and India are fairly rare.

Since the World Cup semi-final in 2011, they have played just six one-day internationals and three Twenty20 matches against each other.


Shahid Afridi smashed two consecutive sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin in the final over as Pakistan defeated India by one wicket in Dhaka on Sunday, virtually knocking the arch-rivals out of the Asia Cup.

Pakistan, chasing India's 245-8, needed nine runs off the last four balls after losing their way from a seemingly winning position to slump from 200-4 to 236-9 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

But the seasoned Afridi sealed his side's win with two mighty hits off the next two deliveries to keep Pakistan afloat in the five-nation tournament with their second win in three matches.

India, the reigning World Cup champions, suffered their second defeat in three games and are unlikely to make the March 8 final even if they beat Afghanistan in their last match on Wednesday.

Afridi returned unbeaten on a quickfire 34 off 18 balls, studded with three sixes and two boundaries, but the victory was set up by all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.

Hafeez picked up two wickets and then top-scored with 75, adding 87 runs for the fifth wicket with Sohaib Maqsood (38) after Pakistan were reduced to 113-4 in the 23rd over.

But both batsmen fell in successive overs - Hafeez caught in the deep off Ashwin and Maqsood was run out - to leave Pakistan on 203-6.

India grabbed three more wickets to make it 236-9 before Afridi's blitz in the company of last man Junaid Khan carried the jubilant Pakistanis home.

Afridi, a 34-year-old veteran of 377 one-dayers, said he was delighted to contribute to his side's win in a crunch match.

"Expectations were high," he said. "We all know how important this game was and I am glad I did it. It's a great occasion whenever we play against India and today was our day."

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq appeared a relieved man after Afridi's heroics.

"It was a really important win and I am happy because Pakistan played really well under pressure," he said. "We have the label of being bad chasers, but Hafeez and Maqsood did well and Afridi finished it perfectly."

India's Virat Kohli, standing in as captain for the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said he was proud of the way the team responded to the challenge.

"The guys put in a good effort after a modest total," he said. "We were 20 to 30 runs short with the bat. But this game could have gone either way. We may not make it to the final, but I am proud how the bowlers fought back."

Indian leg-spinner Amit Mishra marked his first match in the tournament with two for 28 from 10 steady overs on the slow pitch.

Pakistan had unsettled India's batsmen with pace and spin after electing to field, with Saeed Ajmal claiming 3-40 and debutant fast bowler Mohammad Talha and Hafeez two each.

Opener Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) were the main contributors for India at the top of the order, before Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls towards the end.

Left-hander Jadeja, who walked in to bat in his 100th one-dayer with his team on a shaky 155-5, smashed four boundaries and two sixes to boost the total.

Rayudu put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik and 59 for the sixth with Jadeja before he holed out in the deep in the 47th over.

Afghanistan, who stunned Bangladesh in their last match, take on Sri Lanka in Dhaka on Monday.


Afridi blasted consecutive sixes off Ashwin to lead Pakistan to a dramatic one-wicket win with two balls to spare against India in a thrilling Asia Cup clash at Mirpur on Saturday.

"I was really under pressure since I had not played well in the last few games. The expectations were high. Thanks God I delivered at the right time," said a delighted Afridi.

"We know how important this game was. It is always a great occasion for us playig India," he added.

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said it was a really important win because they played under pressure.

"We have a label of being bad chasers but Hafeez and Maqsood did well and Afridi finished it for us perfectly," he said at the post-match presentation.

Indian captain Virat Kohli was pleased with their performance despite the loss.

"The guys put in a good effort after a modest total. It could have gone either way, we were 20-30 runs short with the bat."

Ashwin bowls Ajmal around his legs. Pak 236-9 in 49.1 overs.    

Saeed Ajmal b Ashwin 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)

Talha holes out to Jadeja in the deep. Pak 236-8 in 49 and need 10 from six balls with Ajmal on strike and Ashwin to bowl the final over.

Mohammad Talha c Jadeja b Kumar 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)

Rahane takes superb catch in the deep as Gul fails to clear Kumar with a lofted straight drive. Pak 235-7 in 48.3 overs.

Umar Gul c Rahane b Kumar 12 (12b 0x4 1x6)

Pakistan are 233-6 in 48 overs and need 13 from 12 balls with Kumar bowling the penultimate over.

Afridi sweeps the first ball from Kumar for a boundary while Gul hammers him for a towering six. Pak 229-6 in 47 overs and need 17 from 18 balls with Shami bowling.

Afridi blasts a six over midwicket and scoops a boundary off Jadeja. Pak 216-6 in 46 overs.

Maqsood is run out after a mix-up with Afridi. Pak 203-6 in 44.4 overs.

Sohaib Maqsood run out 38 (53b 2x4 1x6)

Pak are 202-5 in 44 overs and need 44 from 36 balls with Afridi in the middle.

Ashwin strikes as Hafeez falls sweeping to Kumar who takes it on his second attempt. Pak 200-5 in 43.3 overs.    

Mohammad Hafeez c Kumar b Ashwin 75 (117b 3x4 2x6)

Maqsood swings Shami into the stands over square leg to relieve the pressure for Pakistan. Pak 199-4 in 43 overs.

Jadeja bowls a maiden which is the first of the innings. Pak 190-4 in 42 overs.

Maqsood clubs Mishra for a towering six over long-on. Pak 190-4 in 41 overs.

Pakistan need 67 from 60 balls after managing 23 without loss in the Batting Powerplay. Pak 179-4 in 40 overs.

Maqsood (22) survives a stumping chance off Ashwin as Karthik fumbles with the batsman way out of his crease. Pak 169-4 in 38 overs.

Hafeez whips Kumar to the square leg fence to bring up the 50 partnership with Maqsood in 88 balls. Pak 165-4 in 37 overs.

Hafeez completes his 19th ODI fifty and second against India off 82 balls but his job is only half done as Pakistan are rebuilding their innings. Pak 156-4 in 35 overs.

Maqsood edges Shami past the vacant slip for a boundary. Pak 150-4 in 33 overs.

Maqsood slams Ashwin over extra cover for a much needed boundary. Pak 142-4 in 30 overs.

Jadeja takes a brilliant catch off a skier from Akmal as Mishra claims his second wicket. Pak 113-4 in 22.4 overs.    

Umar Akmal c Jadeja b Mishra 4 (17b 0x4 0x6)

Pakistan are attacking Jadeja with Hafeez cutting him through point for a boundary. Pak 109-3 in 20 overs.

Misbah is run out for the second consecutive match after being sent back by Hafeez and failing to beat the return. Pak 96-3 in 16.3 overs.    

Misbah-ul-Haq run out 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)
Shami is back replacing Jadeja who has figures of 3-0-26-0. Pak 96-2 in 16 overs.

Misbah has promoted himself up the order after the fall of Shehzad. Pak 96-2 in 16 overs.

Mishra strikes in his second over as Shehzad hammers a short delivery straight to the midwicket fielder. Pak 93-2 in 15 overs.    

Ahmed Shehzad c Ashwin b Mishra 42 (44b 6x4 0x6)

Leg spinner Mishra comes into the attack and gets turn immediately putting the batsmen on the defensive. Pak 81-1 in 13 overs.

Hafeez smashes a magnificent six off the second ball he faced from Jadeja. Pak 80-1 in 12 overs.

Ashwin strikes with the last ball of his second over beating Sharjeel through the gate as the left hander played a lazy looking drive. Pak 71-1 in 11 overs.    

Sharjeel Khan b Ashwin 25 (30b 3x4 1x6)

Shehzad survives a run out attempt and then rocks on the backfoot and drives Jadeja through the covers for consecutive boundaries. Pak 67-0 in 10 overs.

Jadeja comes on from the other end as India attack with spin from both ends.

Spin introduced to stop the Pakistan onslaught as Ashwin comes into the attack. Pak 58-0 in 9 overs.

Sharjeel hits the first six of the innings launching Shami into the stands at midwicket followed by a boundary. Pak 56-0 in 8 overs.

Shehzad goes straight down the ground while Sharjeel takes the aerial route over the Kumar's head as Pakistan are off to a flying start. Pak 45-0 in 7 overs.

Shami strays down the leg conceding consecutive boundaries off leg byes. Pak 35-0 in 6 overs.

Shehzad pulls a short one from Shami to the square leg boundary. Pak 21-0 in 4 overs.

Sharjeel whips Kumar through the offside for his first boundary. Pak 17-0 in 3 overs.

Shehzad slams Shami through point for his second boundary as Pakistan on their way. Pak 13-0 in 2 overs.

Shehzad hits the first boundary of the innings flicking Kumar to long leg. Pak 7-0 in 1 over.

Sharjeel comes out to open as Pakistan chase 246 to win, allaying fears that he would not be able to bat after his collision on the field with Hafeez and injuring his knee.

Pakistan unsettled India's batsmen with pace and spin to restrict the World Cup champions to 245-8 in a key Asia Cup one-day match in Dhaka on Sunday.

Saeed Ajmal claimed 3-40, while debutant fast bowler Mohammad Talha and Mohammad Hafeez grabbed two wickets each after Pakistan won the toss and elected to field at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

Each team has won and lost a game in the five-nation tournament, and the loser will almost certainly be out of contention for a place in the final on March 8.

Opener Rohit Sharma (56) and Ambati Rayudu (58) were the main contributors for India at the top of the order, before Ravindra Jadeja hit an unbeaten 52 off 49 balls towards the end.

Jadeja, who walked in to bat in his 100th one-dayer with his team shaky on 155-5, smashed four boundaries and two sixes to boost the total.

Pakistan got off to a good start by removing opener Shikhar Dhawan and danger man Virat Kohli by the 10th over.

Left-handed Dhawan, who hit 94 against Sri Lanka on Friday, was leg-before to off-spinner Hafeez in the third over for 10.

Kohli, captaining India in the absence of the injured Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was caught behind by Umar Akmal off seamer Umar Gul for five.

Sharma, who fell cheaply for 21 and 13 in the previous two matches, struck timely form with seven boundaries and two sixes in his 22nd one-day half-century.

But just when he seemed set for a big score, Sharma top-edged a catch to give Talha his first wicket and make India 92-3 in the 20th over.

Talha also dismissed Ajinkya Rahane for 23, but was taken off with figures of two for 22 in his first seven overs.

Rayudu put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Dinesh Karthik and 59 for the sixth with Jadeja before he holed out in the deep in the 47th over.

India went into the crucial game with an extra spinner in leg-break bowler Amit Mishra in place of all-rounder Stuart Binny.


India were restricted to 245 for eight in 50 overs after being put into bat by Pakistan in Match 6 of the Asia Cup at Mirpur on Sunday.

Half centuries by Rohit Sharma (56), Ambati Rayudu (58) and Ravindra Jadeja (52 not out) helped India make a competitive total.

Pakistan have not successfully chased a total of over 250 since October 2013, with their highest being 243 against West Indies in July 2013.

India got off to a rollicking start despite losing Dhawan (10) in the third over while skipper Kohli never got going.

Sharma cracked seven boundaries and two sixes during his 58-ball 56 as India posted 60-2 in the first 10 overs.

Pakistan clawed their way back as India added 32 in the next 10 for the loss of Sharma to slip to 92-3.

India stumbled to 103-4 with debutant claiming his second wicket that of Rahane (23).

Karthik (23) and Rayudu figured in a 52-run stand for the fifth wicket in 77 balls to put their innings back on track.

After another flurry of wickets, Jadeja took charge as India finished with a flourish adding 77 in the last 10 overs.

Ajmal had the best return of three for 40, Hafeez two for 38 and Talha excellent figures of 7-1-22-2 before limping off with an injury.

Gul went for 60 though he claimed the prized wicket of Kohli.

Junaid bowls a tight final over as India finish on 245 for 8 in 50 overs.

Jadeja remained unbeaten on 52 off 49 balls hitting four boundaries and two sixes in his ninth ODI half century.

Ajmal finishes with superb figures of 10-0-40-3. Ind 238-8 in 49 overs.

Ajmal claims his third wicket as Maqsood holds a skier off Shami. Ind 237-8 in 48.5 overs.

Mohammed Shami c Sohaib Maqsood b Saeed Ajmal 0 (3b 0x4 0x6)

Ajmal gets Ashwin who dances down the track and misses complete to be stumped. Ind 237-7 in 48.2 overs.    

Ravichandran Ashwin st Umar Akmal b Saeed Ajmal 9 (7b 2x4 0x6) 

Gul goes for 16 as Jadeja bludgeons him over midwicket for his second six. Ind 237-6 in 48 overs.

Ashwin survives a confident appeal for a caught behind off Gul before hammering a consecutive boundaries.

Jadeja clobbers Ajmal over midwicket for a massive six. Ind 221-6 in 47 overs.

Rayudu gives Ajmal the charge but only succeeds in holing out in the deep. Ind 214-6 in 46.2 overs.

Ambati Rayudu c sub (Anwar Ali) b Saeed Ajmal 58 (62b 4x4 1x6)

Jadeja smashes consecutive boundaries off Gul sending the bowler ducking for cover to bring up up the 50 partnership in 57 balls. Ind 213-5 in 46 overs.

Jadeja steps up a gear finding the gap on the off by cracking Hafeez past point for a boundary. Ind 201-5 in 45 overs.

Rayudu slams Gul over point for another boundary as India target a total of 250. Ind 195-5 in 44 overs.

Rayudu completes his second ODI half century while Hafeez drops a skier from Jadeja (12) in the deep. Ind 188-5 in 43 overs.

Rayudu is growing in confidence stepping out and lofting Afridi for a six over midwicket. Ind 182-5 in 42 overs.

India score 21 for the loss of Karthik in the Batting Powerplay. Ind 168-5 in 40 overs.

Jadeja survives as Hafeez gets upset after a leg before appeal is turned out though replays showed it would have hit leg.

Rayudu dances down the track and chips Hafeez over midwicket. Ind 167-5 in 39 overs.

Jadeja gets a boundary with a late cut to third man off Ajmal. Ind 161-5 in 38 overs.

Karthik attempting another slog sweep off Hafeez top edges to Ajmal at short fine leg. Ind 155-5 in 36.1 overs.

Dinesh Karthik c Saeed Ajmal b Mohammad Hafeez 23 (46b 1x4 0x6)

Karthik gets down on his knees and slog sweeps Ajmal for India's first boundary in nine overs. Ind 155-4 in 36 overs.
It also brings up the half century partnership in 75 balls.

Rayudu and Karthik are just content to get the singles and keep their wickets intact as the Batting Powerplay begins. Ind 147-4 in 35 overs.

Hafeez returns to the attack while Afridi continues to bowl unchanged as Karthik survives a confident leg before shout. Ind 145-4 in 34 overs.

Afridi returns to the attack replacing Talha who had figures of 7-1-22-2 in his opening spell.

Junaid has replaced Ajmal after his opening spell of 5-0-19-0. Ind 123-4 in 27 overs.

Rayudu gets another boundary with an upper cut off Talha which beats Ajmal in the deep. Ind 118-4 in 26 overs.

Rayudu gets his first boundary steering Ajmal past the slip. Ind 112-4 in 25 overs.

Talha gets another big wicket as Rahane hits straight to Hafeez at midwicket. Ind 103-3 in 23.2 overs.

Ajinkya Rahane c Mohammad Hafeez b Mohammad Talha 23 (50b 3x4 0x6)

Rahane uses his feet to attack Ajmal by lofting him inside out over extra cover for a boundary. Ind 102-3 in 23 overs.

Rahane is batting on 17 as India face an uphill task to make a good total while Pakistan are scenting for more blood. Ind 93-3 in 21 overs.

Hafeez's brilliant catch running back has come at a cost having collided with Sharjeel who hobbles off to be treated for a knee injury. Ind 92-3 in 20 overs.

Talha claims his maiden ODI wicket as Rohit miscues a pull with Hafeez taking a good catch. Ind 92-3 in 18.1 overs.
Rohit Sharma c Mohammad Hafeez b Mohammad Talha 56 (58b 7x4 2x6)

There is a lull in India's rate of scoring as Rohit and Rahane rebuild their innings. Ind 89-2 in 18 overs.

Ajmal into the attack after the drinks interval. Ind 84-2 in 16 overs.

Rohit brings up his 22nd ODI fifty off just 44 balls with a booming drive off Afridi. Ind 82-2 in 15 overs.

Rahane gets a boundary off Talha by gloving a short delivery on the leg side. Ind 74-2 in 14 overs.

Debutant Talha comes into the attack for the first time replacing Gul whose first spell reads 6-0-24-1. Ind 68-2 in 13 overs.

Spin introduced as Afridi comes into the attack but Rohit continues his aggressive mode getting a boundary with a late cut. Ind 65-2 in 11 overs.

Rahane opens his account by caressing Gul straight along the ground for a boundary. Ind 60-2 in 10 overs.

Gul strikes a deadly blow as Kohli edges a delivery which swung in the air to be caught behind. Ind 56-2 in 9.1 overs.

Virat Kohli c Umar Akmal b Umar Gul 5 (11b 0x4 0x6)

Rohit is on fire using his feet to loft Junaid back over his head for his fifth boundary. Ind 56-1 in 9 overs.

Rohit lofts Junaid over mid-off for a boundary to bring up the 50 of the innings in 8.1 overs.

Indian skipper Kohli has decided to play the anchor role while Rohit has come out firing all cylinders. Ind 48-1 in 8 overs.

Rohit is showing his class pulling Junaid over midwicket just clearing the boundary for his second six followed by a boundary to fine leg. Ind 44-1 in 7 overs.

Rohit cracks Junaid behind point with a judicious drive for another boundary. Ind 30-1 in 5 overs.

Sharma pounces on a short ball from Gul and whacks him over midwicket for the first six of the match. Ind 25-1 in 4 overs.

Hafeez has drawn first blood trapping Dhawan on the back foot. Ind 18-1 in 3 overs.

Shikhar Dhawan lbw b Mohammad Hafeez 10 (13b 2x4 0x6)

Rohit skips out and lofts Hafeez uppishly over cover for his first boundary.

Dhawan cracks Gul through the covers past a diving fielder for his second boundary as India get going. Ind 11-0 in 2 overs.

Gul tests Dhawan early with a bouncer which is signalled a wide.

Dhawan hits the first boundary of the match off the first ball he faced from Hafeez by cutting him between point and cover. Ind 5-0 in 1 over.

Off spinner Hafeez has been handed the new ball once again by Misbah.

Since October 2012 India and Pakistan have played four matches with the result tied 2-2.

Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq won the toss and decided to bowl first against India in the crucial Asia Cup match in Mirpur on Sunday.

Both teams have made one change each.

India are playing an additional spinner with Stuart Binny making way for Amit Mishra while Pakistan have gone for pace handing a debut to Mohammad Talha replacing Anwar Ali.


India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami.

Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Talha, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan.

India and Pakistan will reignite their intense, but intermittent, cricket rivalry when they clash in Match Six of the Asia Cup in Mirpur today.

The marquee clash between Asia's fiercest rivals is like a semifinal since both teams will go into Sunday's showdown having been beaten by Sri Lanka who have virtually booked their berth in the final.

Defending champions Pakistan, chasing Sri Lanka's competitive 296-6, ended 12 runs short in the opening match after sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga grabbed five wickets in a devastating final spell.

Pakistan overcame early wobbles against Afghanistan to win by 72 runs on Thursday thanks to Umar Akmal's 89-ball 102 not out, which lifted them from a precarious 117-6 to 248-8 in 50 overs before they wrapped up their rivals for 176 in 47.2 overs.

India registered a comfortable six-wicket victory over hosts Bangladesh in their tournament opener on Wednesday but went down to Sri Lanka on Friday.

Sri Lanka scraped home by two wickets after India suffered from a series of dropped catches and missed stumping opportunities.

Although both teams go into the match with an even record - a win and one loss each - Pakistan have a slight edge as they have a bonus point in their kitty from their win against associate nation Afghanistan and have a better net run rate than India.

Meanwhile, the action shifts to the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur after the first five matches were played at Fatullah.

Interestingly, the last time India played Pakistan in the Asia Cup at Mirpur in 2012, they beat them by six wickets.

India chased down a 330-run target in less than 48 overs thanks to Kohli’s magnificent 183 off 148 deliveries.

Their most recent meeting was in the ICC Champions Trophy last June when India won a rain-affected match in Birmingham by eight wickets and went on to win the tournament.
But the sheer importance of the contest will mean that the past records will have little relevance as the two teams look to renew their rivalry and score some brownie points.

It is also the first meeting between the Asian powerhouses in the backdrop of the new International Cricket Council reforms, where Pakistan vehemently opposes the plan to concentrate power on the 'Big Three' which includes India.

On-field contests featuring the traditional foes, which attract millions of viewers around the cricket world, have fallen victim to political stand-offs between the two warring neighbours.
Since the ICC World Cup 2011 semi-final, India and Pakistan have played just five one-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 matches against each other, mostly in multi-nation events.
“Its always a big challenge playing against India because there is so much interest in the game,” said Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Haq. “India are a formidable side and we have to be at our best to win.”
“We may not have played each other much recently, but I know it will be an exciting match,” he added.

India will be without their talismanic captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and it remains to be seen how their most prolific batsman Kohli carries the weight of expectations when he leads the team out for the first time against Pakistan.

The new-look middle order without Dhoni is a major concern for India who were restricted to 264-9 against Sri Lanka when they looked on course for a total in excess of 300 after Shikhar Dhawan (94) and Kohli (48) gave them a solid platform.

The Indian think tank may consider including Cheteshwar Pujara to bring in some solidity after the failure of Ambati Rayudu (18), Dinesh Karthik (4) and Stuart Binny (0) cost them against Sri Lanka.

Skipper Kohli has shrugged of concerns about the performance of Sharma as opener.

"We need to have faith in him because he's done really well and stepped up when we didn't have any opening options. He's filled in that spot beautifully and I think he deserves all the faith," Kohli has said.
In bowling, too, India missed a third spinner to back Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in the death overs with Rohit Sharma being the seventh bowler to be used.

Amit Mishra is an option in the spin department.

Pakistan, too, face similar batting woes with their star performer so far being Umar Akmal having scored 74 against Sri Lanka and then an unbeaten 102 against Afghanistan.

However, Pakistan’s world class bowling attack will have to be at its very best to contain India.

Umar Gul will have to lead the attack with more intensity.

Junaid Khan has a psychological edge over Kohli after having dismissed him on all three occasions in the bilateral ODI series last year.

Mohammad Hafeez's form will also prove to be crucial in a tense match like this, as also that of match-winning allrounder Shahid Afridi.

Both the teams will be looking to bowl first after winning the toss because of the dew factor.


India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Amit Mishra, Varun Aaron and Ishwar Pandey.

Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammad Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal (wk), Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Talha, Abdur Rehman, Fawad Alam.