Humiliated by Australia in their opening Super Eights match, a jittery India will have to pick up the pieces from their all-round failure and come up with an inspired performance against arch-rivals Pakistan in their do-or-die game in the World Twenty20 here tomorrow.
The Indian team looked completely out of sorts against Australia and they now have to quickly address their woes in all departments of the game when they take on an upbeat Pakistan, who had beaten South Africa in a thriller, if they want to remain afloat in the tournament.
A defeat against Pakistan will dash India's hopes of regaining the title as they will be out of reckoning for a semi-final berth. India have to win their remaining two matches in group-2 to remain in title contention.
India's five bowler strategy was a big hit against England in the group match but in conducive conditions against Australia, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's frontline spinners were hammered by Shane Watson-David Warner duo in last night's match.
Skipper Mahendra Sigh Dhoni defended his five-bowler theory and the dropping of Virender Sehwag from the playing eleven in their World Twenty20 Super Eights match against Australia, saying that he had adopted the "horses for courses" policy for the game.
Dhoni's five-bowler strategy backfired against Australia as India suffered a nine-wicket defeat but he backed his decision, saying that one failure did not warrant criticism of the combination.
Dhoni blamed the short spell of drizzle before the start of the Australian innings as a reason for his bowlers' failure. But the fact that the entire bowling unit failed to put up a semblance of a fight came as a surprise.
From Ravichandran Ashwin to Piyush Chawla, everyone bowled half-trackers and full-tosses which proved to be cannon fodder for the two dashing 'Ws' of Australian cricket.
Although Dhoni may persist with his five bowler strategy, it will be very surprising if leggie Chawla gets another chance in the tournament.
Pakistan are far superior players of spin bowling and consistency has never been Chawla's forte as he is primarily a rhythm bowler. On their day, the likes of Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed and Mohammad Hafeez can take Chawla to the cleaners --- something Dhoni can't afford at this juncture of the tournament.
Dhoni had suggested that "slower deliveries will be effective on Premadasa strip" which means that a bowler like Lakshmipathy Balaji will be more effective.