Reality check: India will win the semi-final

Published: March 26, 2011
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We lack the basic ingredients to come out as a side that can conquer India.

The Pakistan versus India semi-final on March 30 has the general population psyched on both sides of the border.

People are vigorously praying to their respective Gods that they be given this win. Indians are keeping a vrat (fast) for the sake of the Indian team while people in Pakistan slaughter goats in the hope that God would accept their sacrifices and present a victory over India.

Well, only God can really help and if He is busy on March 30 then I guess India are winning. God helped the Pakistan cricket team win the World Cup in 1992.

Let us take a trip down memory lane and see how:

Pakistan shocked everyone that year but the shock was not because the team wasn’t considered worthy of winning but because they had been on the verge of being knocked out in the group stages. Pakistan were dismissed for a meager 74 runs against England and Imran Khan and his guns looked destined for defeat until rain led to the match being abandoned.

That’s right! God opened the heavens and let rain pour in Adelaide so we could just slip through. This was unlike India’s World Cup title in 1983; they had won only one game in the previous two World Cups and were ranked outsiders in the third one.

However, led by the legendary Kapil Dev, the unheralded Indians stormed into the final –  beating even the West Indies in the process. The Indians had sealed one of the most improbable victories of all-time.

Pakistan will lose, duh!

The Pakistani population needs to realise this so they can spare themselves the misery and the humility that is to follow.

Pakistan does not have a chance against India, a team so well-poised in the tournament.

We lack the basics needed to come out as a side that can conquer India. Our top order batsmen are inept and are unable to perform when there is dire need for them to do so.

India on the other hand are backed by Sehwag and Tendulkar – whose records speak for themselves as they both comfortably sit amongst the five highest run getters in the World Cup. Moreover, they have the likes of Yuvraj, Ghambir, Kohli, Dhoni and Raina. They have all been in immaculate form.

Our bowling is average: Afridi does not bowl all 50 overs, he bowls only 10 and it is very probable that the pitch in Mohali might not help spinners at all. We also forget that Zaheer Khan is only two wickets behind Afridi in the tournament and is all set to become the first Indian bowler to capture 20 wickets in a world cup competition.

The only way I see Pakistan winning the semi-final against India is if they play Shoaib Akhtar. With a good opening partnership (which will probably not happen) and a little help from God, we have a tiny chance of winning.

Zunair Ali

Zunair Ali

A sub editor on the Sports desk of The Express Tribune.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.