India are getting past Pakistan in the mind games by a long way. The biggest problem for the latter has been their batting against India. We keep talking about how good the Pakistan bowling is, but if they bat like this and not post totals, it will be hard for their bowlers to win matches. Also,
Pakistan cricket captain Mohammad Hafeez plays a shot during the ICC Twenty20 Cricket World Cup's Super Eight match between South Africa and Pakistan at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. AFP Photo/Ishara S.Kodikara
Hafeez's captaincy was ordinary and Dhoni beat him at it convincingly.
Pakistan's batting didn't have control. Other than Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal, no one seemed to be in control of their thought process and that showed in their batting.
The group is keenly poised at this stage. Australia have been the best team in the competition and should get into the semifinals, although anything can happen against Pakistan. For India and South Africa, it could be anyone going through. South Africa have not been in the best of form and, like India, it's a do-or-die game for them. If India get past them, they would want Pakistan to lose to Australia and that's why the pool is interestingly poised.
India went with seven batsmen against Pakistan, something Dhoni wanted at the start of the tournament and I am sure it will be the same against South Africa. It also allows him to chase, as results show that the side batting first has got stuck on the slow pitches.
For India, it will be a test. The South Africans will be a lot more clinical and disciplined than Pakistan and their fast bowlers have been in good form. South Africa are again under pressure in the World Cup. Will their new captain AB de Villiers change it this time? We will have to wait and see.
360 Corporate Relations . The writer is ex-india captain