New Delhi: Big day, big match and the sort of electric atmosphere in a packed Eden Gardens, is any cricketer's dream. Saturday highlights the mother of all battles between India and Pakistan in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20.
For Pakistan, their skipper Shahid Afridi will have a big role to play on this mega occasion. Afridi, who has been in the news recently has faced a lot of criticisms on and off the field.
But the experienced campaigner hit back at all his critics by producing a 'boom-boom' special innings of 49 runs off 19 balls in Pakistan's win over Bangladesh in their opening tie. On Saturday, Afridi's presence becomes huge in this gigantic clash and if he could replicate the form against Bangladesh, then India would be expected to be in a huge trouble.
Afridi's contribution with both bat and ball could hurt India. It will be interesting to see the conditions and the way this match sets up, as the skipper could come in early again to bat and produce a heroic affair.
Afridi will hope his top order batsmen sets the platform for him to come and launch an attack. But against the Indian bowlers it will not be an easy task. Most importantly, the Pakistan top three look confident and that could be a big factor.
On Friday former Pakistan legend Wasim Akram backed Afridi and said he needs to be calm in front of a packed house as that could rub off well for the side to go out and enjoy the game.
Afridi is an aggressive player and Pakistan needs him to find his mojo once again and go for the kill with a sound presence of mind.
The way Afridi handles his side and makes key decisions on the field, would matter a lot for Pakistan as they look for a first victory against India in ICC events.