As India and Pakistan walk onto Lahore’s historical Gaddafi Stadium Jan 13, 2006
for their first test, tens of thousands of Indian supporters will be glued to their tv sets hoping for a re-run of the past years performance. Then, India won both the Test and one-day series
. The three-Test series beginning in Lahore on Friday is the third in two years between the teams, who contested only three Tests between 1990-2003.
Even Coach Greg Chappell admits that an India Pakistan series is bigger than an Ashes series. Chappell professed that he is yet to fully grasp the enormity, complexity and occasional danger of his role.
“There is nothing like it in world cricket or even world sport,” Chappell said. “Maybe there are some similarities in Brazil with soccer but, then again, they aren’t dealing with these kind of numbers,” he was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday.
Since the cricket world said goodbye to the Ashes there has been no series more eagerly awaited than India’s tour of Pakistan. This Friday, there’ll be no room left for speculation, no time for theories – just pure action as India take on a vastly improved Pakistan team in their backyard. Fresh from beating England at home, Pakistan look more organised, united and professional than they have in recent times. India, for their part, with their new captain and new coach, are raring to prove that their win over Sri Lanka was no flash in the pan.
The India-Pakistan rivalry has always had all the passion, the politics, the needle, and now it has two strong cricket teams to match it.
Pakistan (possible) 1 Shoaib Malik, 2 Salman Butt, 3 Younis Khan, 4 Mohammad Yousuf, 5 Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), 6 Shahid Afridi, 7 Shoaib Akhtar, 8 Kamran Akmal (wk), 9 Naved-ul-Hasan, 10 Mohammad Sami, 11 Danish Kaneria.
India (probable) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 Rahul Dravid (capt) 4 Sachin Tendulkar, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 VVS Laxman, 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Ajit Agarkar, 10 Anil Kumble, 11 Harbhajan Singh