India Bat First, Go With Two Spinners Against Pakistan

15/02/2015 10:34 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
India's Shikhar Dhawan, center, watches a shot during the World Cup Pool B match between India and Pakistan in Adelaide, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/James Elsby)

ADELAIDE, - Reigning champions India won the toss and will bat first in their much-anticipated World Cup Pool B opener against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to go with two spinners for the clash in front of a sell-out crowd bathed in sunshine at the Adelaide Oval.

All-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin will provide the spin after the pace attack of Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami have had a crack at Pakistan with the new ball.

"We'll have a bat first, it looks like a good wicket," Dhoni said to huge cheers from an already lively crowd.

"It's slightly on the dry side but I feel it will still be a good wicket. Maybe it might slow down later, but not a lot."

Misbah-ul-Haq said he too would have batted first had he won the toss as Pakistan chase their first World Cup win over their neighbours and fierce rivals in six attempts.

Pakistan will line-up pretty much as expected except at wicketkeeper where Umar Akmal, who impressed in the warm-up win over England last week, displaces Sarfraz Ahmed.

"He's really in good form and we really wanted to play a fifth bowler so that's why we had to sacrifice Sarfraz," Misbah said.

"We have a young team and this is a great chance to show they can perform on the big stage."

The match has been billed as a "war without guns" and some believe it could attract the biggest ever TV audience for a cricket match with more than a billion tuning in.

"India-Pakistan World Cup game, nothing gets better than this," Dhoni added.


India - Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.

Pakistan - Ahmed Shehzad, Younus Khan, Haris Sohail, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Sohaib Maqsood, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah, Sohail Khan, Mohammad Irfan. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Patrick Johnston)

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