After five years Pakistan will play their first bilateral series in Indian soil. This is going to be a very short series, every time these two teams play one can see plenty of buzz, drama, emotions, and excitements happening around.
The two-match T20 and three-match ODI series has been squeezed in between India`s ongoing full series against the England cricket team, which has taken a break to go home for Christmas and New Year holidays.
It’s more than Cricket for the fans of these two nations. Two weeks of unlimited cricketing action awaits the cricket lovers. This short trip of Pakistan will have 2 T20’s and 3 ODI’s starting from 25th December the Christmas Eve till 6th January 2013.
To be noted, this will be India’s first series post the retirement of master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who on Sunday announced his retirement from ODI’s. On the same day the Indian team for this series was announced. Yuvraj Singh makes a comeback to ODI’s since 2011 World Cup, Ajinkya Rahane was named after Sachin’s retirement. Indian pacer Zaheer Khan was not picked by the selectors due to lack of form. Virendar Sehwag who opted out for the T20 matches, will be back for the ODI’s. Ishanth Sharma, Amit Mishra and Ashoke Dinda will be back as well while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed will be playing in their debut series. The T20 Squad is more or less the same from that of the England series.
Pakistan led by their 32 year old captain Mohammad Hafeez will have notable players like Younus Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul and Saeed Ajmal for ODI’s. All-rounder Shahid Afridi not included for ODI’s but retained in the T20 Squad along with former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik, Sohail Tanveer and Ahmed Shehzad.
The first T20I will be played today which will be hosted by M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Both these teams have met thrice in the past with all three meetings happened to be in the T20 World Cup, twice in 2007 (one among them was the T20 World Cup final in which India won the match and lifted the inaugural T20 World Cup) and one in the recently concluded T20 World Cup. Interestingly India has beaten Pakistan in all three times they have met so far. Can India continue their success form against Pakistan? Will Pakistan taste success against India for the first time? Whatsoever, Indian Cricket team will not be the same after Sachin’s retirement, be it any format. We truly miss you Sachin Tendulkar!
MS Dhoni, R Ashwin, P Awana, PP Chawla, AB Dinda, G Gambhir, RA Jadeja, V Kohli, B Kumar, AM Rahane, SK Raina, AT Rayudu, I Sharma, RG Sharma and Yuvraj Singh
Mohammad Hafeez, 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 and Zulfiqar Babar