This pic (source: Hindustan times) on the right can easily be mistaken to be a poster of the next Sanjay Gupta Action Thriller, but it is the Pakistani and Indian cricketers at the Gwalior Fort - Gwalior being the venue of the 4th ODI set to be played today.
Reports are mentioning that the pitch for today will be a high scoring one and the curator has even said that the toss wont matter as the pitch will play the same for the full 100 overs of the match. Thus we can expect a high scoring humdinger!
Pakistan have flown in former U-19 world cup winning captain and wicket keeper, Sarfraz Ahmed to cover for the injured Kamran Akmal, however reports suggest that Akmal might be fit, or if not, Younis Khan or Yasir Hameed will keep wicket. I don't agree with this at all. Sarfraz Ahmed deserves a debut, especially after Akmal's woeful form with gloves and bat. Sarfraz is coming on the back of strong performances in the domestic scene in Pakistan. Plus unless Pakistan plan to stick with a makeshift like Younis or Hameed ala Dravid, they shouldn't do it for this important match.
I also think Shoaib Malik needs to put his hand up and open the innings - I said this long before Rameez Raja did recently. Malik has done it before successfully and can do it again and solve the opening problem once and for all. All his ODI hundreds have come while opening or batting at #3. Plus he has a test hundred while opening as well. Batting at 5 or 6 is too low for a captain and a batsman as talented as Malik.
Shoaib Akhtar has come out and said that he is still not at his best and that he was underprepared for this ODI series. And that too after figures of 2-52, 3-42, and 1-40 in the last 3 games. I wonder what he'll do when he feels he's at his best.
India look a far more settled side than Pakistan do with no opening problems, solid middle order with Yuvi and Dhoni in great form, and a potent bowling attack with Pathan back to his old best. No doubt they are favorites to win the series, but I would rather prefer them winning the 5th game than today.
I sure hope Pakistan manage to level the series today and take it into a deciding 5th match, as that is what a series of such proportions deserves - a fitting decider!
Let the discussions begin people, right here on this blog.