Traditional rivals India and Pakistan will resume their cricketing
hostilities when they square up against each other here tomorrow in a Group D
clash of the Twenty20 World Cup at Kingsmead.
The two Asian giants could not keep their date in second round
clash at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies following their shocking
first-round exits, but this time around their high-profile clash is expected
to provide thrills galore.
It will be for the first time in over a decade and half that
India will play Pakistan without stars like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid
and Sourav Ganguly, with the trio not being present to lend
a dash and verve to the top order.
Similarly, Pakistan will be without their celebrated stars
like Inzamam-ul Haq, Mohammed Yusuf, Abdul Razzak and Shoaib
Akhtar, who was a late casualty having being sent back on disciplinary grounds.
However, despite the fact that both teams will have some new
faces, that will definitely not dilute any of the heat that an India-Pakistan
match usually generates.
Both teams may have new captains but the importance of this
high-voltage clash is definitely not lost on any of them.
"For us, any game against India is very special. My team
is working hard and they are keen to go out and give their best against India,"
said Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni too was confident that
young Indian guns were capable of handling the high pressure match.