New Delhi: MS Dhoni
At No.1 is MS Dhoni. MSD is perhaps still the best bet to stage a turnaround in limited overs cricket. After all, he is the only Indian captain to have won two World Cups. He might not have the classical technique for Test cricket, but in ODIs he averages 51 and is one of the best finishers in the game. His captaincy calls in limited overs cricket are also way sharper than his Test calls. His two knocks of 24 and 38 in the 2 T20s vs England showed that he still has the spunk.
At No.2 is Virat Kohli. India's most prolific batsman over the last one year. With over 1000 runs in one dayers with five centuries, at an average of 73, Kohli could well be India's biggest X factor in the series vs Pakistan. The last time India and Pakistan faced off, Virat scored hi highest ODI score of 183 to help India win the match.
Yuvraj Singh says that he looks to express himself in the shorter format and he did just that vs England in the T20s. The cancer survivor walked away with the Man of the series award, courtesy his all-round display of 42 runs and 6 wickets. In Yuvi, captain Dhoni has an extremely useful all-rounder.
When it comes to spinning the ball, few do it better than Saeed Ajmal. The off-spinner has already said that he is ready for the Indians with a new variety of deliveries. Ajmal is the top ranked bowler in ICC's one-day and T20 rankings and coach Dav Whatmore feels he could be Pakistan's trump card against India. 2012 has been one of his best years so far and the 35-year old skipped the Big Bash League Down Under to prepare for the series against the arch-rivals.
At No.5 is Mohammad Hafeez. The all-rounder has over 3500 limited overs runs and over 100 wickets and has earned the respect of his fellow players. Pakistan's T20 skipper may not have set the stage on fire in 2012 but Hafeez has the experience and the guile needed to challenge India.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 25 December 2012 10:13 IST