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Why India will win, lose or tie the WC semi-final
Why India will Win
Reason No. 1 - Sachin Tendulkar
It is sacrilegious for a cricket article in India to not mention the Little Master's name. Not when he is 2 matches away from achieving his only publicly stated ambition. Not when he is the third highest scorer in this World Cup. Not when he averages over 70 against Pakistan in WC. And definitely not after his dismantling of the much vaunted Pakistan attack at Centurion in 2003. But then, has he slept in past couple of weeks? India will hope he hasn't.
Reason No. 2 - A billion and bit prayers
If all of India and all of Pakistan pray for victory for their home countries, with equal devotion, then the odds are close to 6:1. Of course, this does not account for the number of atheists or for the Chandigarh lad who saw row after row of Lahore beauties during India's tour of 2004 and swore his heart and allegiance to Pakistan and its (single) womenfolk.
Reason No. 3 - No India specialists
Where are the Ijaz Ahmeds and the Aaqib Javeds? Afridi and Razzaq both average lesser with the bat and more with the ball against India than their career averages. The Indians who have grown up watching Ijaz slaughter India in match after match (even now, we get nightmares thinking about his onslaught that October night in 1997) and Aqib Javed expose chinks in the Indian batting line up that no one else, not even Wasim and Waqar seemed to know. This is as much a shock as a pleasant surprise. Younis Khan however, is a beacon of hope for Pakistan in this regard.