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India elect to bat in Super League tie against Pak

Published: Wednesday, July 2, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
 
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Karachi: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat in the Asia Cup Super League tie against Pakistan at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

India made two changes to the squad which recorded a convincing 6-wicket win against Bangla on Saturday. Sehwag, who was rested in the previous tie against Bangla, comes back in place of Uthappa while Irfan returns after an injury lay-off and at the expense of RP.

Pak miss the services of skipper Malik who is down with de-hydration. Right-arm paceman Abdur Rauf replaces Malik.

Indians after a much-needed three day break, are keen to get going and the in-form players certainly give them an edge over the traditional rivals.

The Indian top order has looked quite potent and have utilised the batting conditions to the best of their advantage. The forms of

Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Suresh Raina have hardly left anything for the batters down the order including Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh.

However, bowling has given Dhoni some problems during the later stages of the matches. His bowlers have been guilty of giving away many runs in the final stages of the games.

Promising youngster Ishant Sharma does not look as penetrating as he used to in Australia. Leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who was a great success in the IPL has been punished by the Pakistani batsmen in their last two encounters. Hope Irfan's return may ease out Dhoni's bowling worries.

On the other hand Pakistan is down in dumps with non-performing stars, helpless captain and coach and unprecedented pressure from media and public. The hosts, with a very meagre chance of making it to final, can salvage some pride by beating their arch rivals.

Squads: 

India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar, Piyush Chawla and Ishant Sharma

Pakistan: Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi, Mansoor Amjad, Sarfraz Ahmed, Sohail Tanvir, Iftikhar Anjum and Abdur Rauf.

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