In­dia look for turn­around against Pak­istan

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Ma­hen­dra Singh Dhoni's In­dia will be look­ing to bounce back from their shock open­ing de­feat when they take on a resur­gent Pak­istan in Satur­day's World T20 block­buster in Kolkata.

Red-hot favourites In­dia were stunned by an un­fan­cied New Zealand on Tues­day when they were shot out for 79 in Nag­pur - their low­est score on home turf in T20 in­ter­na­tion­als.

But In­dia's lim­ited-overs skip­per has full faith in his side that came into the tour­na­ment on the back of 10 wins in 11 T20 matches, in­clud­ing vic­tory in the Asia Cup.

"What's im­por­tant is how to turn around and how to come back strong and I think this team has done this plenty of times," Dhoni said af­ter the New Zealand loss.

Af­ter their stum­bles in Nag­pur, In­dia's front­line bats­men Ro­hit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Vi­rat Kohli will have to find their feet against a hos­tile Pak­istan pace at­tack which in­cludes the in-form Mo­ham­mad Amir.

The Pak­istani pace­man, on the come­back trail af­ter serv­ing a prison sen­tence and a fiveyear ban for spot-fix­ing, ended with im­pres­sive fig­ures of 2-27 in his team's vic­to­ri­ous opener against Bangladesh. Al­though In­dia reg­is­tered a com­mand­ing vic­tory over Pak­istan in last month's Asia Cup, their bats­men were far from com­fort­able against Amir, with Kohli con­grat­u­lat­ing him for "an amaz­ing" spell of bowl­ing.

While the pitch in Nag­pur turned dra­mat­i­cally, Eden Gar­dens is seen as of­fer­ing more bounce and Dhoni could well be tempted to play a fit-again Mo­hammed Shami on what is be the speed­ster's home ground.

Pak­istan had come into the tour­na­ment in woe­ful form and their prepa­ra­tions were not helped by a row over se­cu­rity which led to the match be­ing switched from Dharam­sala to Kolkata. But their trounc­ing of Bangladesh has ban­ished the gloom, with skip­per Shahid Afridi lead­ing from the front by spank­ing a 19-ball 49 and then bag­ging two key wick­ets in the 55-run win.

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