19th Sep, 2018
We Indians are always looking for a reason to celebrate. And the celebration multiplies infinite times if it has something to do with Pakistan. Here’s presenting you another occasion to watch, to cheer, to celebrate!
Brace yourself. The day has finally arrived. The mother of all battles is here. It’s India vs Pakistan.
The stage is set for the high-voltage
Asia Cup tie between the arch-rivals. And cricket fanatics would know that there’s absolutely nothing in International Cricket that even comes close to match the emotions, excitement and the intensity during an India-Pakistan clash. Such is the reputation of an India vs Pakistan clash that even a dead rubber is being looked at with double the enthusiasm. There are two matches going on during the India-Pakistan encounter, one on the cricket field and another one in the stands.
Coming to the match, both the teams have qualified to the Super Four stage, which means that the two teams will have a go at each other at least twice in the tournament. While Pakistan annihilated Hong Kong and posed an easy victory; India also took the same road, with some hiccups in between though. At one stage, Hong Kong looked to do the impossible and upset the Indians, which would have made today’s match even more exciting. But the Indians held their nerves when it mattered the most and pulled the match back in their favour to win by 26 runs.
But one cannot ignore the fact that India wasn’t playing their best XI, citing the all-important match against Pakistan today.
Nevertheless, here’s our take on the match.
Rohit Sharma would lead a confident side in this game. Indian top order is in brilliant form, and he would expect the middle order to fire as well, especially the out of form MS Dhoni. Expect KL Rahul to play today, specifically after the brilliant 4th innings century against England that almost took India home. With Kedar Jadhav filling up beautifully for the sixth bowler’s spot and Ambati Rayudu getting a crucial half-century, Dinesh Karthik might be the one who makes way for KL Rahul. Also, Hardik Pandya would come in for Shardul Thakur, who had a forgettable match. It seems interesting to see if the young talent Khaleel Ahmed, who impressed everyone with his death bowling skills gets a go ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who looked a bit rusty yesterday. Jasprit Bumrah will fill up for any one of them.
India (probable XI): Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Khaleel Ahmed/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Even as the two bitter foes reignite their rivalry, Pakistan would like to draw inspiration from the result of the match when the last time the two teams met, in the Champions Trophy final in England. Pakistan beat India by 180 runs and Sarfraz Ahmed-led side would like to emulate something similar, if not an emphatic win. Sarfraz Ahmed has said that previous meetings don’t hold much importance and it’s the upcoming match that matters. But try telling that to cricket fans from both sides of the border.
Pakistan have ticked all boxes, with a complete performance against Hong Kong in their first game. It’s always been India’s batting vs Pakistan’s bowling, and don’t expect anything different here. Pakistan have a quality fast-bowling attack in the names of Mohammed Amir, Hasan Ali and Usman Khan. Everyone know what Fakhar Zaman did when the two sides met last year. Then there’s Babar Azam who loves scoring and Imam-ul-Haq who’s done his famous uncle, Inzamam-ul-Haq proud with his performances. In Shoaib Malik, Pakistan have the perfect middle order batsman; while Sarfraz Ahmed is a handy finisher if the need arises by any chance.
Pakistan (probable XI): Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c/wk), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashram, Usman Khan, Mohammed Amir/Junaid Khan, Hasan Ali
The pitch at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium has been in the slower side and Wednesday’s pitch is going to be no exception. With the way India’s two spinners have bowled, it might seem that they hold a slight edge over their counterparts.
All in all, the mouth-watering clash has fans from both sides of the border going gaga already. Mark your calendars everyone, it’s India vs Pakistan – 5 pm (IST) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Don’t miss it!
Here are the Full Schedule and Date of Asia Cup 2018.
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