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India, Pak promise dream T20 final tomorrow

On the way to the final, both teams inflicted humiliating defeats on Australia, SA, SL and New Zealand.

cricket Updated: Sep 23, 2007 17:37 IST
AV Nayudu

Having conquered much fancied rivals, resurgent India and Pakistan will clash in Johannesburg on Monday in a high voltage duel for the title of the inaugural Twenty20 world champion with not much to choose between the two youthful sides without their ageing stalwarts.

On the way to the final, both teams have inflicted humiliating defeats on ODI and Test champions Australia and roared past other favourites like hosts South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Their successes have surprised the pundits but thrilled the sub-continent's cricket-hungry masses still recovering from the inglorious exit of their teams from the ODI World Cup in the West Indies only six months ago.

There is no Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly in the Indian line-up nor is Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Yousuf in the Pakistan team. But both sides have discovered new stars on way to the Wanderer's Stadium.

India has a new captain in Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is a refreshing contrast to his predecessors with straight thinking and a focus on the basics of the game.

"I told the boys, 'go out and do your best after which I don't care what happens,'" he said after humbling mighty Australia at Durban last night.

Vice captain Yuvraj Singh has stunned the cricketing world with explosive knocks in this tournament and will be the obvious key batsman for India.

First Published: Sep 23, 2007 15:34 IST