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India Names Strong Team for 2012 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes

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India has named its team for the KARP Group Hong Kong Sixes, which will take place at the Kowloon Cricket Club on 27 and 28 October 2012.

The team is the first specialist sixes side selected for the Hong Kong Sixes. India is grouped in Pool B alongside defending champions Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.

“This is the first time the Indian team has been selected with the unique format of the Sixes in mind and I believe we have one of the best combinations,” warned Vivek Bakshi, manager of the Indian squad.

India will have a band of IPL-hardened players at its core, namely Paul Valthaty, the Kings XI Punjab opening batsman, Rajasthan Royals’ bowler Ajit Chandela and Siddharth Chitnis, a useful batting all-rounder who bowls off-spin and who also turns out for the same team as Valthaty.

The team will be captained by Praveen Kumar, who has represented India at all forms of cricket, and is the only player after the legendary Kapil Dev to bowl a natural outswinger.

A lot of thought has been put by the Indian selectors into this team as the country make an attempt to catch up on Pakistan’s superb record at the Hong Kong Sixes. India has only won the tournament once, back in 2005 when a young Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned out for them.

Any clash between India and Pakistan is treated as the mother of all matches. Cries of ‘Pakistan Zindabad will be matched with ‘Chak De India’ as both teams will be reminded that nothing but the best is desired from their supporters at the KARP Group Hong Kong Sixes.

Passions will run high when the two sides meet on Saturday afternoon, and the stakes will be even higher - for with Sri Lanka also in the same group, victory will be vital as the loser might have trouble securing a place in the Cup competition.

As defending champions, Pakistan will be expected to win. They return with the core of their champion team from last year intact and all eyes will once again be on dashing batsman Umar Akmal to provide them with the impetus going forward.

But the withdrawal of last year’s successful captain Abdul Razzaq from the Pakistan six, being replaced as captain by another veteran of last year’s Cup winning side in Kamran Akmal, India’s chances may be looking brighter.

“The entire nation expects the team to perform at their best and win this tournament. Also I personally expect that all the players will leave no stone unturned as they seek to win but at the same time play the game in a very disciplined manner,” Bakshi added.

With so much riding on run rates from the day’s results, India will need to start fast against the Netherlands in their 2012 Hong Kong Sixes opening match on Saturday, 27 October at 09:15. India then play Sri Lanka at 13:45 on Saturday and face off against Pakistan in the Cricket world’s best rivalry at 15:15.

Hong Kong Cricket Association President Captain Shahzada Saleem Ahmed commented on the Indian Six saying: “Hong Kong cricket fans will be delighted with the India team selected for this year’s tournament. India boasts some of the most exciting cricketers in the world game and to see them select a side uniquely suited to the entertaining Hong Kong Sixes format bodes well for some dramatic play on Saturday.

 “Pool B with India, Sri Lanka and the defending champions Pakistanis shaping up to be the group of death and the Netherlands is now ideally positioned to play the spoiler’s role,” added Captain Saleem. “The loss of Abdul Razzaq, last year’s Player of the Final, is unfortunate for Pakistan but with Kamran Akmal stepping in to assume the captaincy, the team has the strength to repeat once again.”

India Squad: Praveen Kumar (Captain), Ajit Chandela, Siddharth Chitnis, Ishan Malhotra, Sandeep Sharma, Siddharth Trivedi, Paul Valthaty, Vivek Bakshi (Manager)

Other 2012 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes-related stories: South Africa Beats Pakistan to Win 2012 Hong Kong Sixes, Pakistan On Course for Record 6th Hong Kong Cricket Sixes Title, Brad Hodge to Captain Australia @ HK Sixes, Hong Kong to Play Australia in First Game of HK Cricket Sixes this Weekend, India Names Strong Team for 2012 Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Netherlands Confirm Teams for HK Sixes, Irfan Ahmed Returns to Hong Kong Team for HK Cricket Sixes, 8 Countries to Compete in this Weekend's Hong Kong Cricket Sixes and HD Videos from Hong Kong Cricket Sixes 2012 and Pictures from the 2012 Hong Kong Sixes.

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