India- Pakistan rivalry is like a naked live wire always sparking some controversy and tension between the two cricket playing nations. The mother of all cricket battles sets the human tempers on fire making cricket field an unsung battle ground. Both the team attack each other with all guns blazing.
Post 26/11 Mumbai attack, cricket was abandoned between the two cricket nations. They only tussle in the ICC tournaments to teach other the revenge chapter. The 2012 bilateral series is still fresh in every fan’s memory, but finally war and politics swallowed the charm of the Indo-Pak rivalry.
One such Instance was during a match in the 2010 edition of the Asia Cup, when tensions flared between Harbhajan Singh and Shoaib Akhthar in the final stages of a close match. The pitch was on fire, when Harbhajan Singh hit six off the penultimate ball of the innings.
We can always expect a high octane contest whenever these two nations collide. In the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, the stand-in Captain Rohit will look to lead the side from the front.
India has been the most successful side in the Asia cup’s history as they have won it for a total of 6 times since its inception, whereas Pakistan is a two time champions in the Asia cup.
India Vs Pakistan in Asia Cup
India Vs Pakistan in ICC Tournaments
India Vs Pakistan Overall
The two teams clashed each other 129 times in ODI’s, out of which Pakistan emerged Victorious in 73 matches, while India managed to win 52 matches. 4 matches have yielded no result because of a washout due to rain. Among the present Indian batsmen, Virat Kohli has scored the most number of runs against Pakistan team in ODI’s. He has an aggregate of 459 runs at an average of 45.90, including 2 centuries in 12 matches he played against the neighbors.
For Pakistan, Mohammed Hafeez has scored most runs against India with 437 runs at an average of 54.62 in 9 encounters. Coincidentally, both the players are not playing this edition of Asia cup. Among bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been leading wicket taker for India with 11 wickets in 7 contests against Pakistan, whereas Saeed Ajmal is has been leading wicket taker for Pakistan with 20 wickets from 9 matches In the Asia cup’s history.
The two teams have always competed with high intensity contests at the Asia cup, they hold a close overall win loss record in the Tournament. In their 12 clashes against each other at the Asia cup, India has won 6 times while Pakistan managed to win 5 times with one match being washed away. In the latest between two countries back in winter 2017, Pakistan decimated India in the Final of 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. But India still leads in the recent head to head record; they won 7 matches out 11 in the recent times.
The loss of Virat Kohli may hurt India’s chances, he has been in astonishing form this year, scoring 749 runs in just 9 matches at a Bradmansque average of 124.83 including 3 centuries. In his absence Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni are expected to take up the run scoring responsibility.
India has only 20 ODI’s left until the next World cup so India will use this tournament to get into the groove and find the right balance in the playing XI. The tournament will give the middle order players enough time to find their feet at certain positions in the batting order before all important World cup next year.
Historically, most Indian batsmen have been troubled by left arm pacers due to their awkward angle, deceiving incoming and leaving deliveries from the good length region. Pakistan has four such left arm pacers in their squad who will look to take advantage of the above mentioned issue of Indian Batsmen. Especially Mohammed Amir & Junaid khan have tormented Indian batsmen whenever they played against them in the recent past.
The squads of both the teams for the Asia Cup –
India’s Squad for Asia Cup
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, and K Khaleel Ahmed.
Pakistan’s Squad for Asia Cup
Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Sarfraz Ahmed(C & WK), Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, and Mohammad Amir.
Expected Playing XI’s of both Teams
INDIA XI – Rohit Sharma ( Captain), Shikhar Dhawan ( Vice captain), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni ( wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
PAKISTAN XI – Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(C & WK), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan.
Players to Watch out For
- Rohit Sharma – The stand-in skipper Rohit will look to lead the side from the front in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, he is the best batsmen in the present team. Rohit has a phenomenal record as a captain as he won IPL 3 times and also won the Nidahas trophy earlier this year, while captaining India. He has always performed well as batsmen under his own leadership and India would want him to be at his destructive best. He has been in exceptional ODI’s in the last few years and it’s no different this year as he scored 324 runs at an average of 40.50 this year and he will look to improve it further in the Asia cup.
- Shikhar Dhawan – He has been the linchpin of this Indian line up ever since 2013, when he formed a deadly alliance with Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. He has scored 443 runs this year already at an average of 55.38 and will look to pile on more runs. He is also the Vice-captain of the side.
- Kuldeep Yadav – Kuldeep has been a sensation in limited overs cricket in the recent past as he rattled the batsmen of England and South Africa with his guile and Unorthodox spin. With the conditions in UAE likely to assist spinners he is going to be a genuine wicket taking option for his skipper.
- Mohammed Amir – The left arm pacer has always been the most talented bowler of this generation, he has the ability to swing the ball both ways at serious pace. He has a good record against India top order as he toppled them on a few occasions like in the T20 world cup in 2016 and in Champions Trophy 2017. So, he is expected to be Pakistan’s main weapon against the Indian top order.
- Fakhar Zaman – The flamboyant Opener has been in sensational form this year, he scored a double century in one of the recent matches. He also scored his maiden international Century against India last year in the final of the Champions Trophy. So, Pakistan will hope that he will continue his good run of form at the top order.
Also Check : Top 5 Thrilling Matches in the Asia Cup History