The part of the world does not matter, eyes are always set for the match between these two arch-rivals. The hype began since the announcement of the match. Most of the time in any big tournament, either the finals or the India-Pakistan Match gets the highest number of the turnaround of fans in the stadium.
These neighbors always steal the limelight from their other competitors. This Asia Cup encounter is no different. India’s loss to Pakistan in ICC Champions Trophy 2017 finals is still afresh for many of the Indians fans around the globe. But as these two nations play rarely with each other, it’s hard to pick the favorites every time.
India is coming back after a lackluster performance in recently concluded English Summer. They won T-20 series by 2-1, but lost ODI by 2-1 and were hammered brutally in Test series by a 4-1 margin.
Though the stats defines an ordinary performance, Team India Captain Virat Kohli supported his team for the dedication and commitment shown by them in tough English Conditions. However, it is evidently true in the recent past that whenever India wears Blue, they become a different team all together and a tough competitor to beat. In the last two years, India has only lost recent England ODI series and ICC Champions Trophy Final. They were unbeatable in last 9 bilateral series.
Pakistan, on the other hand, is always known to be as an unpredictable side. On their day, they can thrash any side in the world. But this team lacks consistency. They also play less cricket as compared to India, thanks to their unforgettable past. They have been on a roller coaster, where they won 5 out of 9 series played in the last two years that includes triumph over Indians in 2017 Champions Trophy.
Asia Cup Record
Since the inauguration of this tournament, India has won Asia Cup five-times jointly with Srilanka while Pakistan has won it twice. India are the defending Champions winning the last edition of this tournament in 2016 making them favorites for this edition as well while Pakistan won it last time in 2012.
But still, you cannot predict a favorite between these two sides as their record against each other is toe to toe in Asia Cup. Out of 12 encounters in which these two teams have involved in Asia Cup, India leads with a slim margin of 6-5 where one match did not fetch any result.
With a tough Aussie summer coming up their way, India has avoided services of their regular Captain Virat Kohli. Rohit Sharma will be captaining this young Indian side that includes youngsters like Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, and Khaleel Ahmed.
Khaleel Ahmed will be a player to watch as this 20-year old lad from Rajasthan has impressed everyone at the domestic level.
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed.
(Source:- GQ India)
Pakistan on the other side has also not made major changes in their side except Shan Masood, a bowling All-rounder and young Shaheen Afridi, a recent U-19 Pakistan team player who might get their ODI Cap in Asia Cup.
Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir
(Source:- GQ India)