ICC World Cup 2011 semi final preview: Pakistan v India by Gulrukh Tausif - March 28, 2011

Source : http://www.helium.com/items/2125028-icc-world-cup-2011-semi-final-preview-pakistan-v-india

ICC World Cup 2011 semi final preview: Pakistan v India.
It is already being touted as “mother of all matches,” the “match of the century,” “the final before the Final” and even as “World War of Cricket.” The impending match between the arch rivals, India and Pakistan, is something the cricket world is waiting for with bated breath.
The two teams will clash at Mohali in India in the second semi final of ICC World Cup 2011 on 30th March, 2011. One team will advance to the final leaving the other to face the fury and disappointment of their cricket crazy fans.
Cricket's Most Intense Rivalry:
Dubbed as cricket’s most intense rivalry, the passion and aggression with which India and Pakistan teams face each other on cricket field surpasses the intensity of Australia/England ashes series. Days before the high voltage semi final, sports journalists, cricket experts and former players of both countries have sharpened their wits and tongues and are busy sending veiled and not-so veiled slurs on the opposing teams’ capabilities with bat, ball and glove.
One good performance in a match against India can make a cricketer hero for life in Pakistan and vice versa. When India and Pakistan face each other, more than 60 years of political, regional and diplomatic disputes come to fore and the game’s arena extends beyond the cricket ground. Governments, politicians, diplomats and media persons all get involved in issuing statements and predicting results.
Fanatic Fan Following:
In an India v Pakistan match, all consuming loyalty, patriotism, faith and passion engulf the cricket fans of both countries. Defeat is usually unacceptable. On match day, cities, towns and villages come to a standstill. Office and school attendance is negligible. Weddings are postponed and surgeries are rescheduled. Giant screens spring up in open spaces where fans can get together to watch their cricket heroes in action. Sometimes special prayers are held for the outcome of the match. Even the atheists turn devout for a day.
A Look At History:
India has never lost a World Cup match to Pakistan. In four encounters, India has always emerged as a winner. However, Pakistan has won each match played at Mohali against India. Both teams have won the World Cup once. Team India became champions in 1983 under Kapil Dev while Pakistan won the World Cup in 1992 under Imran Khan.
Interestingly, out of 119 India vs Pakistan matches, Pakistan has won an overwhelming 69 while India managed to win only 46 with others ending in no result. Cricket experts agree that past team records won't count for much in Wednesday's match. Whichever team performs well under pressure will win the semi-final, irrespective of history.
What They Say:
“They (India) will beat Pakistan in the semi-final and go on to win the World Cup now,” says the captain whose team suffered back to back defeats at the hands of both India and Pakistan. In an interview, Australian captain Ricky Ponting has backed India to beat Pakistan in the second semi final of ICC World Cup 2011.
“To expect them (Pakistan) to win three big matches successively is expecting too much.”Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar fanned the flames by predicting that the second semifinal will be one-sided as India will beat the “undisciplined” Pakistanis easily at Mohali.
Tickets Agony:
According to TimesofIndia.com, thousands of eager fans are queuing outside the stadium in a frantic bid to obtain the tickets but are forced to go home empty-handed. Black marketing is at its peak with tickets being sold at more than 20-25 times their original price. The stadium has a capacity of 30,000 and tickets got sold out in less than 24 hours leaving many fans angry and disappointed.
The match will be attended by business tycoons, Bollywood stars, important politicians, celebrities and even heads of states of both countries. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has accepted the invitation of Indian PM Manmohan Singh to travel to India and watch the match at Chandigarh Stadium.
With all the hype surrounding Pakistan/India semi final, Sri Lanka and New Zealand encounter in the first semi final has certainly taken a back seat. Will MS Dhoni’s cool and calm headed leadership win the day for India or will Boom Boom Afridi’s unpredictability keep the Indians guessing…we will have the answer on March 30th, 2011.

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