India VS Pakistan 1st T20 preview
The tour will mark the resumption of cricketing ties between the two countries, which were suspended after the terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. The arch-rivals had last played a bilateral series in 2007, since then the two sides have met each other in international and multi-national tournaments. This is Pakistan’s first international assignment since they lost to Sri Lanka in the semi-final of ICC World Twenty20 in October. The geared themselves for the series against arch-rivals in the Faysal Bank T20 Cup and the subsequent three-day conditional training camp.
Mohammad Hafeez-led Pakistan’s squad is a combination of veteran and rookies both in batting and bowling departments. Explosive opener Ahmed Shehzad, who was sidelined from the team due to some dressing room issues, has made a comeback to the national set-up thanks to his prolific performance in the Faysal Bank T20 and will open the innings alongside Hafeez.
Left-arm batsman Nasir Jamshed, who was pretty impressive in the World T20, is expected to bat on the one-down position. In middle-order and lower-order they tourists have the weapons of mass destruction in form of Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal. However, Shahid Afridi’s poor form will be only worry for Hafeez.
Lanky debutant seamer Mohammad Irfan will share the new ball with veteran Umar Gul. Junaid Khan, who missed the World T20 due to knee strain, is also the part of the pace attack.
The spin department is the branch in which Pakistan hold a sharp edge over the hosts. Tackling Saeed Ajmal will be biggest challenge for India. Zulafqar Babar is the other specialist spinner in the squad.
India presented an improved performance in the T20 series against England after losing Test series 2-1 and leveled the shortest-format rubber 1-1. The consistent failure of bowling line will be the biggest headache of skipper MS Dhoni. However, their batting line looks pretty ruthless in the presence of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma and skipper Dhoni.
The both sides last met in the World T20, which the India won by eight wickets.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez (Captain), Ahmed Shehzad, Asad Ali, Junaid Khan, Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Irfan, Nasir Jamshed, Saeed Ajmal, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Amin, Umar Gul, Zulfiqar Babar.
India: MS Dhoni (Captain.), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Piyush Chawla, Ambati Rayudu.