IND vs PAK: Mother of all clashes resumes in Asia Cup

After a nail biting victory against HongKong, India lock horns with the arch rivals Pakistan today at Dubai International Cricket stadium.

The last time India faced Pakistan, Indian fans witnessed a nightmare when Fakhar Zaman pulled out a splendid century to snatch away the Champions trophy in 2017. With the bilateral ties marred with political controversies, India is going to face Pakistan after 15 months and this time at Pakistan’s second home, Dubai. The clash would be a perfect battlefield  for volatile Indian middle order without Virat Kohli  facing the threatening swing deliveries from Pakistani pacers.

Statistics: India vs Pakistan face to face

An interesting fact to be noted here is India have already faced a threat from the seven Paksitani’s playing in the HongKong team.

Virat Kohli’s absence has been one of the most discussed  points ahead the clash of the six-nation tournament. Kohli has been rested for the Asia Cup after a the tour of England due to back problem. While Rohit Sharma has been a great against the  white ball, his leadership skills against a prominent side is yet to be tested. The main aspect would be how India India play a quality Pakistan side that has a world-class fast bowlers in Mohammed Aamir and Hasan Ali, a exploding opener in Fakhar Zaman whose Champions trophy final perfomance is stuill a nightamre for Indian bowlers and talented batsmen such as Babar Azam. India’s main aim would be to cement their middle-order combination and also find a perfect batting position for MS Dhoni, who has been under scanner for deteriorating batting form.

 

 

On an Indian perspective, Indian openers need to tackle Mohd Amir and Junaid Khan who has always threatened the Indian openers over the years. Shoib Malik, the onluy player in Asia Cup who has debuted in the 90s, will add experience to the young Pakistani side. Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam who are often compared with the batting great Virat Kohli, is currently in a threatening form. The positive point for India is Jasprit Bhumrah’s comeback in the Indian side. Toe crushing yorkers from Bhumrah would add effect on the flat track pitches. On a Pakistani perspective, the Pakistani batsmen will face the Chahal-Kuldeep magic for the first time on spin track, which would be a perfect challenge.

Sarfraz Khan in his pre match press conference quoted the pressure the team faces from the Pakistani fans while playing the arch rivals India.

 

By Sriraj Namboodiri