Pakistan to retain same squad against charged-up India

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Karachi, Jun 26 (UNI) As India and Pakistan gear up for one of the most awaited tussles, both the teams would look to reach the next stage of the Asia Cup with a win and home team coach Geoff Lawson believes his wards would shine against arch-rivals here today after an unimpressive start to the tournament against minnows Hong Kong.

Pakistan will field an unchanged squad in their big Group B match against India that featured in their not so authoritative win over Hong Kong by 155 runs.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina hit centuries with an effortless ease while in-form openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir scored fifties in India's big win in their opening game of the tournament.

In contrast, Pakistan did not have a great start but the hosts are not bothered by the hiccups they went through against the tournament underdogs and have declared that it is going to be a different story against the Indians.

Lawson told reporters that Pakistan have almost made up their mind about fielding an unchanged playing eleven against India.

Team manager Talat Ali was confident that his boys will repeat that victory in front of their home fans tonight.

''All the boys are fully fit and raring to go,'' the former Test cricketer said. ''The players are aware that tomorrow is their big match and they are ready for it,'' he added.

Talat defended his team's batting display against Hong Kong saying that the home batsmen were surprised by the slow wicket.

''Our batsmen were not expecting the wicket to be so slow.

The ball was not really coming to the bat,'' he pointed out.

Pakistan lost their top seven wickets for just 161 runs against a bowling attack that is formed by part-time cricketers.

India batting would be their strength while Pakistan will be looking to their bowling attack that looks potent even in the absence of pace spearheads Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.

UNI XC RAR ND1202

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