Stung by the upset defeat against minnows Bangladesh, India will be under immense pressure when they go into their must-win last Asia Cup league match against arch-rivals Pakistan here tomorrow with bowling in the slog overs continuing to be a big worry.
The Indians have no option
but to put it across their traditional rivals to stay alive in the tournament as the shock defeat against Bangladesh has thrown their campaign into jeopardy.
The stunning defeat against Bangladesh would have certainly hurt the Indians, especially Sachin Tendulkar whose phenomenal feat of scoring the 100th international ton went in vain. But they have to regroup quickly and put the debacle behind them.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have already secured a berth in the final with victories over Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and will be under less pressure unlike the Indians.
The Indians have generally managed to lift their game when they take on their bitter foes and it remains to be seen whether Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men can upstage the Pakistanis in what promises to be a thrilling contest under lights at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium.
Now that Tendulkar has completed the historic 100th international century after a frustrating year-long wait, the champion batsman will be mentally more relaxed and that could allow him to play more freely.
Tendulkar has a good track record against Pakistan and will be determined to make an impact tomorrow.
While the Indian batting has done reasonably well in the Asia Cup after struggling on the bouncy Australian tracks, it is the bowling which has been a cause of concern.
The pacers -- Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Vinay Kumar --have not been consistent enough in the death overs on these flat sub-continental tracks while the spinners like R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been patchy.