India will take on neighbours and arch-rivals Pakistan in their do-or-die fixture in the Super Eights of the T20 World Cup 2012 at Colombo, as MS Dhoni's men look to regroup after their humiliating defeat against Australia in the previous game.
Where to Watch Live
The game starts at 3pm BST. Sky Sports 3 will broadcast the match in the UK. ESPN will stream the match live in selected countries on its official website.
After an impressive display against England in the group stages, India suffered a complete change of fortunes in their first Super Eight game against the Aussies, where they lost by nine wickets and looked second-best in all three departments. With just one match remaining after this one, Dhoni and his team cannot afford any more slip-ups if they want to avoid an early exit from the tournament.
Pakistan, on the other hand, came up with a spectacular late show to win their first Super Eights game against South Africa, thanks to some clean hitting from fast bowler Umur Gul and the calming presence of one of the most talented young batsman in the world - Umar Akmal. Mohammad Hafeez's side have points on the board but will look for a better batting performance, after being 76 for seven at one stage against the Proteas.
Clashes between these two sides, in any format of any game, have always been emotionally charged affairs... expect this one to be the same, with a lot of pressure on both teams.
India: The choice between Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh remains a difficult one for Dhoni as neither player has contributed much with the bat of late. But with pundits and former players questioning the fitness and form of Yuvraj, there is a good chance of Sehwag returning after being rested against Australia and England. Yuvraj's inclusion in the World T20 squad over in-form youngster Ajinkya Rahane was seen as an emotional decision by the selectors, after the cricketer made a remarkable recovery from rare germ cell cancer.
There may well be a joker in the pack though, with public opinion calling for the inclusion of youngster Manoj Tiwary, who will replace either Yuvraj or Rohit Sharma. Dhoni could continue with his five-bowler plan but it will be surprising if leg-spinner Piyush Chawla gets picked against Pakistan, who are one of the best players of spin.
Pakistan: The only big problem for Hafeez is Shahid Afridi's batting form. The player's six-or-out approach has landed the side in trouble on several occasions in the recent past, including the game against South Africa. But Afridi has done his part with the ball and could keep his place as just a bowler, who happens to bat at No. 7.
Pakistan fielded four spinners against the Proteas but they might not deploy youngster Raza Hasan against India, who are also good players of spin. There is therefore a chance that pacer Mohammad Sami or the tricky Sohail Tanvir could get a look-in.
Pitch and Conditions
The Premadasa pitch will not offer much support for the pace bowlers but the likes of Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Saeed Ajmal, Mohammad Hafeez and Shahid Afridi will have plenty to look forward to on Colombo's slow turner.
The pitch looks dry, which should encourage the side that wins the toss to bat first, under normal circumstances. But there is always a chance of rain at this time of the year in Sri Lanka and the prospect of avoiding a wet outfield, and Duckworth-Lewis complications, might persuade the team to field first.
India: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Lakshmipathy Balaji
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (c), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Kamran Akmal (wk), Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami, Saeed Ajmal
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