Saturday, 5 January 2013

India vs Pakistan, 3rd ODI

Date : 6th January 2013
Start Time : 6:30 GMT
Venue : Feroz Shah Kotla Ground, Delhi


Having already secured their first series win in India since April 2005, Pakistan's chief selctor Qasim Iqbal has hinted at changes to the Pakistan side, saying "the Pakistan team management is in a better position to take a chance by making changes in the playing XI for the last one-dayer."Iqbal went on to praise the unity and fighting spirit of the Pakistan side, stating they had "showed their real talent and did a great job, making the entire nation proud." Whilst he added that he has no direct influence over the 11 selected by the touring party, it only seems logical to let the squad players share in the series triumph.


A team in crisis, India are now relying heavily on their infamously shaky bowling attack. The selectors are reported to have had long conversations with Virender Sehwag, with many anticipating that anything but a vintage showing in the 3rd ODI would see the once-feared opener axed from the upcoming series with England - and possibly the Australia series following. The other major team news is the flaring up of Dhoni's dodgy back. He is the only Indian batsman who has looked like he has any professional pride over the series thus far but Dinesh Karthik has been called up in case the captain has to sit. The issue of captaincy would then come back in to focus. Who would captain India? Sehwag in his make or break game? Gambhir who hasn't looked good at the crease since the early 1950s? Kohli who has made 6 runs in the previous 2 matches? My vote is with youth, therefore Virat but the likelihood is MSD will play through the pain.

Likely Lineups


Mohammad Hafeez, Nasir Jamshed, Azhar Ali, Umar Akmal, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Haris Sohail, Kamran Akmal(wk), Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan


Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c/wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, B Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashok Dinda


The Delhi & District Cricket Association was given a year long ban after producing an "unplayable wicket" during the Sri Lanka series in 2009. They have therefore promised a "simple and straight" wicket for Sunday's game, which Chief Curator Venkat Sundaram began preparing for some 15 days ago - “Take a look at the outfield and the square of the wicket. Everything is in good shape and I am sure there will be no complaints from either team this time around.” Assuming this pitch offers something for everyone, a key factor may be dew - which is unavoidable during a North Indian winter. Spinners will struggle to grip the wet ball and the outfield will find out the weaker fielders. Assuming light doesn't play a part late on, you want to win the toss and bowl first.

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