It has been more than one year since the two Asian giants met on a cricket field, a meeting the Pakistanis won’t forget for the rest of their lives – and probably their arch-rivals too.
Such is the burning rivalry between the neighbors. And it is back.
No matter how much you try to calm your nerves, every single ball at a Pak-India clash makes you drift towards the edges of your seats. And if you don’t lose your calm, it isn’t a Pakistan-India fixture, is it?
Asia Cup is here. And both Pakistan and India are sporting vastly improved sides.
Talk about batting; Pakistan has fresh faces who have made sure that the team doesn’t crumble under pressure while India has a number of match-winners who can turn around things.
Talk about bowling; Pakistan is known for its pacers since forever while India has a lethal spin duo and the number one ranked fast bowler this time around.
Talk about fielding; Pakistan have adopted a culture of tip-top fitness and it has paid off. The improved fielding prowess of the Pakistani team has become a major talking point in cricketing circles while India has been quite good at it for a long time now.
There is nothing but one conclusion; it is an evenly matched contest, despite India having got the better of their neighbors in the past decade or so.
Venue & Time
The match will be a day/night clash, starting at 4:30 pm PST, between the arch-rivals at Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Possible Playing XIs
Pakistan might want to include Mohammad Nawaz for his all-around prowess especially his bowling on a dust-bowl of a Dubai pitch, however, dropping Mohammad Amir, who is known to have troubled Indian top order ever since his entry to cricket, might not be an easy choice.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir/Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan
Following the severe heat, India had rested two of their main players in Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya. Both will be back in the side.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (c), Dinesh Karthik, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedhar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
In the last five matches, India has enjoyed an upper hand, winning 3 while Pakistan won the Champions Trophy final in 2017 and the nail-biting last over finish by Afridi in Asia Cup 2014.
Who do you think will emerge victorious in today’s match? Let us know in the comments section.