India seek to avenge Karachi loss
The onus will be on the visitors' big three - the opening pair of Sehwag and Sachin and the skipper during first ODI.india Updated: Feb 06, 2006 01:03 IST
India will seek to make amends for their humiliating defeat in the Karachi Test as they go into the one-day series against Pakistan on Sunday at Peshawar, fully aware that only an inspired performance can give them victory and pacify their supporters back home.
It will be imperative for the visitors to pull up their socks to clinch back the lost initiative and get back into the winning habit in the very first of the five-match one-day series beginning at the Arbab Niaz stadium after a huge 341-run loss in the third and final Test which cost them the series.
While Pakistan, already buoyed by the Test series victory, would also be inspired by the return of their regular captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who is expected to play tomorrow after recovering from his back problem.
Though both teams are coming into the clash on the backs of scoring convincing home wins -- India 6-1 and 3-2 over Sri Lanka and South Africa and Pakistan 3-2 over England -- India who struggled facing the new ball at Karachi need to show greater determination and will to fight back against odds.
Indian batting and fielding will be strengthened by ODIs speciallist middle-order batsman Mohammad Kaif, who is already on a high after leading Uttar Pradesh to their maiden Ranji Trophy win, while left-arm spinner Murali Kartik, paceman S Sreesanth and Suresh Raina also make their way into the ODI squad.
The onus, however, will be on the visitors' big three in batting -- the opening pair of vice captain Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, and captain Rahul Dravid.
Sehwag had started the tour with a big bang riding on his blazing 254 in the drawn first Test at Lahore but fell sick during the course of the second Test at Faisalabad.
The Delhi opener needs to get back to his swashbuckling ways and pave the way for a big score on what looks to be a good batting track that has been prepared for the tie.
Tendulkar, who is under tremendous pressure to perform after a poor run in the Tests, and skipper Rahul Dravid need to come out with all their guns blazing to subjugate the Pakistan bowling which must be under the impression it has the wood on the Indian batsmen.