India the more consistent team
Since their ignominious first-round exits in the World Cup 2007, India and Pakistan have had contrasting runs in all forms of cricket. India won the World Twenty20 final and the VB Series in Australia in 2007-08, while at home, they have been extremely impressive, winning seven out of nine series. However, after the win in the World Twenty20 in 2007, India failed to rise to the occasion in global tournaments, and crashed out early in the Champions Trophy and the two World Twenty20 tournaments in 2009 and 2010.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have been a picture of inconsistency in bilateral ODI series. They lost closely contested series against Australia and South Africa in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but went on to lose 5-0 in Australia in the beginning of 2010. However, they've performed much better than India in global tournaments, winning the World Twenty20 in 2009 and reaching the semi-final of the same tournament in 2010. They showed glimpses of form in the Champions Trophy in 2009 before losing out to New Zealand in the semi-final. In all, this is their fifth semi-final at a world tournament since the 2007 World Cup.
In the tournament so far, both teams have been in pretty good form, with only one defeat each. India came in as the pre-tournament favourites mainly due to their batting, but the bowling suffered against England and South Africa in the group stages. However, they were far more consistent in their display against West Indies and Australia. The bowling and fielding was in top form in the five-wicket win over Australia in the quarter-final.
Pakistan have been dominant in the World Cup so far despite a few ordinary phases of batting and bowling, especially in the game against New Zealand. Their varied bowling attack, led by Shahid Afridi and Umar Gul, has been one of the best in the tournament. The Pakistani bowlers average 20.61 in the World Cup, which is second only to South Africa's 18.86. Their spinners average 18.58, which is the best among all teams in the World Cup, but their biggest test will come against India's powerful batting line-up, which has the best average against spin in the tournament so far.
India vs Pakistan in ODIs
|In India since 2005||11||5||6||0.83|
|In global tournaments||6||4||2||2.00|
The pressure factor
The fact that the match will be played in India will probably suit Pakistan, if past results are any indication: they have a 17-9 win-loss record against India in India. However, in matches played here since 2005, the record is a slightly more even - it's 6-5 in Pakistan's favour.
India have never lost a single World Cup game to Pakistan, winning all four. On the last occasion that the two teams met in a World Cup game in the subcontinent, India triumphed by 39 runs in the 1996 quarter-final in Bangalore. While Pakistan won the ODI series in India in 2005 by a 4-2 margin, India won a close series at home in 2007-08 with a 3-2 result. The teams last played each other in a global tournament in the Champions Trophy 2009 where Pakistan came out on top, winning by 54 runs. In the most recent game played between the two teams in the Asia Cup, India won a close contest after Harbhajan Singh hit Mohammad Aamer for six off the penultimate delivery to clinch a three-wicket win.
While India have been the better batting team in the six matches played between the two teams in global tournaments, there is very little to choose in the other ODIs. The pressure on the two teams is immense in bigger tournaments and is reflected in the fact that only one of the four World Cup matches has been won by the team chasing, whereas the record of the two teams in chases is much better in other ODIs. The pressure of playing in front of the home crowd in a knockout game is likely to be massive for India, who have lost both the World Cup semi-finals that were contested in India but have managed to win the two semi-finals played outside India.
There's been only one century scored in the four World Cup matches between the two teams - Saeed Anwar scored 101 in Centurion in 2003. Shoaib Malik scored a century in the Champions Trophy clash in 2009, which means an India batsman hasn't scored a hundred against Pakistan in a global tournament. In other ODIs played in the subcontinent, Pakistani batsmen have scored more centuries but Indian batsmen have been involved in the higher number of century partnerships.
Performance in head-to-head games (global tournaments and matches in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka)
|Team & Match Type||Played||Wins||Wins(Chases)||Runs per wicket||RR||100s||50s||100 stands||50 stands|
|India(Other ODIs since 2000)||26||14||9||40.42||5.87||9||38||20||31|
|Pakistan(Other ODIs since 2000)||26||12||7||37.43||5.82||12||34||14||
Indian batting v Pakistan bowling
In this World Cup, India have the better average (39.46) and run-rate (5.89) than Pakistan, who average 33.13 and score at 5.07. No Pakistani batsman has scored a century in this World Cup so far, while there have been five centuries for India in their seven matches. Three of India's batsmen figure among the top ten run-getters in the World Cup, whereas Umar Akmal, Pakistan's top scorer does not figure in the top 20.
Pakistan have been the better bowling side by far, though. They have an excellent economy rate (4.11) and average (19.95). While there have been two four-wicket hauls for Indian bowlers, all four of Pakistan's four-wicket hauls have been taken by Afridi. Shoaib Akhtar hasn't been at his best in the World Cup, but Pakistan might still risk him given his record against India - 41 wickets at 26.78. For India, Zaheer Khan, with17 wickets at an average of 16.23 in the tournament, has been the best bowler. Yuvraj Singh has been highly successful with 11 wickets at 24.63. On the other hand, the experienced Harbhajan Singh has had a very ordinary time, with six wickets at an average of nearly 50.
India and Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup
|Team||Matches||Runs per wicket(Batiing)||RR||Runs per wicket(Bowling)||ER||Avg diff||RR Diff|
Tough going for the bowlers
Bowlers from both teams have struggled in head-to-head matches between the two teams. Their average and economy rates are far higher than the corresponding numbers against other Test-playing nations. Gul, who has 14 wickets at 10.71 in the World Cup so far, averages over 42 in ODIs against India since 2005. Against other teams, he averages under 25 and has a much better economy rate (5.18) than against India (5.87). Afridi, the leading wicket-taker in the World Cup, has been very ordinary against India. His 21 wickets have come at an average of 68.71 and economy rate of 5.61. The story is the same for the Indian bowlers too: Zaheer and Harbhajan have had little success against Pakistan. Yuvraj, who has had an excellent time with bat and ball in the World Cup so far, has been impressive in ODIs against Pakistan, with eight wickets at an average of 33.50.
Bowlers in head-to-head ODIs and in matches against Test-playing teams excluding Bangladesh
|Bowler||Wickets||Average||ER||Boundary%||Avg, ER (other Test-Playing teams)|
|Zaheer Khan||16||43.87||5.51||47.29||31.35, 4.89|
|Harbhajan Singh||11||56.36||5.00||29.35||35.26, 4.40|
|Yuvraj Singh||8||33.50||5.74||29.85||39.94, 5.07|
|Umar Gul||13||42.15||5.87||56.56||24.86, 5.18|
|Shoaib Akhtar||7||34.42||5.02||50.62||30.95, 5.45|
|Abdul Razzaq||9||65.33||5.28||50.00||32.40, 5.10|
|Shahid Afridi||14||68.71||5.61||36.38||31.37, 4.50|
Batsmen dominate in head-to-head games
As a consequence of bowlers from both teams struggling, nearly all batsmen have far better stats in head-to-head games than they have in matches against other top teams. MS Dhoni, who averages over 54 in ODIs against Pakistan, together with the in-form Yuvraj, has formed the most prolific partnership for India in matches against Pakistan since 2005. Virender Sehwag, who averages much higher in matches against Pakistan, has scored at a slightly lower rate than he does against other teams. He still has a very high percentage of boundary runs (61.28) when compared to other Indian batsmen. Sachin Tendulkar, though, averages lower against Pakistan than he does in ODIs against other Test-playing teams.
In the absence of Shoaib Malik, Pakistan's most successful batsman in recent years against India, the role of the experienced Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq becomes far more important. Younis, who averages over 55 in ODIs since 2005 against India, scored a century and set up Pakistan's successful chase of 322 the last time they played India in Mohali. Afridi, who has a 45-ball century against India, has struggled otherwise in recent ODIs and averages just over 24 while scoring at a run-rate of 8.60.
Batsmen in head-to-head ODIs and in matches against Test-playing teams excluding Bangaldesh
|Batsman||Runs||Average||RR||Boundary%||Avg, RR (other Test-Playing teams)|
|MS Dhoni||976||54.22||5.75||48.15||44.64, 5.03|
|Yuvraj Singh||941||58.81||5.55||51.85||41.46, 5.16|
|Virender Sehwag||731||48.73||6.29||61.28||36.84, 6.62|
|Sachin Tendulkar||649||40.56||5.49||60.70||49.34, 5.13|
|Younis Khan||886||55.37||5.33||41.30||27.81, 4.19|
|Shahid Afridi||416||24.47||8.60||64.90||23.81, 7.84|
|Kamran Akmal||382||22.47||5.11||50.26||29.73, 4.98|
|Misbah Ul-Haq||334||47.71||6.46||41.91||40.60, 4.25|
Not one of India's favourite venues
Mohali, the venue for the semi-final, hosted its first day-night game when West Indies played Australia in the 1996 World Cup semi-final. It has hosted 15 day-night matches so far, and is second only to Bangalore in the total number of day-night games hosted by an Indian venue. Ten out of the 15 day-night games have been won by the team batting first. Over the years, Mohali has proved to be one of the venues that has provided a fair deal of assistance to fast bowlers. They average under 29 in the second innings, with an economy rate of 4.93. Spinners have also done much better in the second innings in day-night games, which suggests dew hasn't been too much of a factor here. While they average 32.89 in the second innings, their average is 41.20 in the first innings.
India have lost four of the eight day-night games they have played in Mohali including two against Pakistan. They come into the semi-final on the back of a three-match losing streak at the venue.
Pace v Spin in day-night games in Mohali