India, Dec. 25 -- Bangalore is one of my favourite venues. This is where I played my 100th Test, scored a hundred and went on to win the Test to draw the series. It is here that a new-look Pakistan will start the series against India, a revival of cricketing ties between two countries after a gap of five years.
India will be favoured by the fact that Pakistan don't have the necessary experience to handle the pressure of an India-Pak tie, and when these two play each other, the mental ability and technical quality comes in for consideration.
As for Pakistan, they also have an important factor going their way. India haven't had a good series against England.
India are under pressure to deliver, captain MS Dhoni is under pressure to give results and India will be under extra pressure that if they don't put it across Pakistan, heads will roll. This is where Pakistan will need to play fearless cricket.
India will draw mental strength from the fact that they have never lost a T20 game to Pakistan in a competitive format, except maybe in some warm-up ties.
India's major area of worry will be their bowling. When a team has to look up to Yuvraj Singh, who is generally a part-time bowler, to deliver full time, one has to accept that there is a serious problem.
The way the bowlers delivered in India's last series at home, it will be worrying Dhoni and will be a big ask to sort out matters only through his champion batters.
Pakistan will need to get their balance right. Kamran Akmal and Shoaib Malik, if he is played for experience, will need to bat high up the order as the two are more effective there.
Pakistan will look up to Ahmed Shehzad, who has the ability to carry a match through but the real surprise will be the left-handed fast bowler Mohd Irfan.
He is tall and bangs in the ball hard. The Pakistan captain will need to have a trick or two up his sleeve to pull the game away from India.
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The writer is a former Pakistan captain
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.