India vs Pakistan: Preview and Prediction
Arch rivals India and Pakistan have made it to the Super Fours after their respective victories over Nepal in the group stage, however, the first clash between the two teams was abandoned due to rain due to which both teams were given one point each.
Though we could only witness one innings during the match, it was full of entertainment for the cricket fans. On one hand, where the left-arm seamer Shaheen Afridi dismantled India’s top order, the comeback from the Indian batting line-up was a moment to watch out for.
Now, it’s time for yet another highly anticipated game between India and Pakistan in Super Fours that is set to take place on Sunday. Talking about the current conditions at Colombo, it is not looking the way it should be as rain might play a spoilsport once again.
Despite a good drainage system at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium, the Super Four encounter between the two could still face disruptions if heavy rainfall occurs. There were speculations of shifting the venue from Colombo to Hambantota to avoid the rain threat, however, ACC has decided to stick with the same venue. The good news is that they have announced a reserve day for this epic clash.
What have they done so far?
Rohit Sharma & Co. have played just two games in the tournament as of now with the match against Pakistan getting washed out due to rain. The other match against Nepal was a one-sided affair where the Men in Blue won the battle by 10 wickets.
The match against Pakistan on Sunday will be their first Super Four match and they would like to start off with a victory. Skipper Rohit Sharma has been in fine form and would like to charge against the Men in Green. Shubman Gill was commendable too against Nepal and would like to take revenge against the pace attack of Pakistan. Other players including Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya have been in a great touch and would look to dominate the bowling attack.
Pakistan, on the other hand, have played three games so far and they are undefeated as of now. Babar Azam & Co. won their first Super Four match against Bangladesh by 7 wickets and are the top contender for making it to the finals. However, in the group stage, they won against Nepal and shared a point each with India due to no result.
The Men in Green led by Babar Azam have been exceptional in both departments till now and would not like to experiment much with the side and the strategies. They have a perfect mixture of experienced as well as young players who could be handy in any situation of the match.
Head to Head Record
Both India and Pakistan have competed against each other 133 times in ODIs where the Men in Blue won on 55 occasions whereas Pakistan became victorious 73 times. But the players and the era have changed now and both sides are equally better.
India has a tremendous record against Pakistan in ICC tournaments whereas Pakistan quite often used to have an upper hand in bilateral series. When it comes to the Asia Cup, India has dominated against Pakistan with 9 victories out of 18 matches while Pakistan has just won 6 matches.
Don’t miss out: Top 5 Encounters between India and Pakistan in Asia Cup history
The upcoming encounter would be a crucial one for both teams as they would look to better their record in the Asia Cup.
Haris Rauf: Haris Rauf has been one of the finest in this format right now and he is proving it yet again in the ongoing Asia Cup. In the previous clash against India, Rauf picked up 3 wickets including Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Shreyas Iyer. Also, in the first Super Four game against Bangladesh, the right-arm pacer bagged four crucial wickets for just 19 runs in his 6 overs.
Undoubtedly, he is going to be a big threat to the Indian batting line-up and he would be eager to go against them on Sunday. Rauf would be looking to get big players early on so that Pakistan can put the Men in Blue under pressure from the beginning.
Virat Kohli: Though this man failed against Babar Azam & Co. in the inaugural match of India, one can never ignore Virat Kohli against Pakistan. His splendid innings in last year’s T20 World Cup is still fresh in the minds of cricket fans, however, it’s a different stage and a different format and Kohli would be hoping to get back into his zone.
Commonly known as the best ODI cricketer we are having at present, the legendary player has suffered more often against left-arm fast bowling and it would be interesting to see his competition against Shaheen Afridi on Sunday.
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam ©, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
India: Rohit Sharma ©, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Mohammad Shami
Pakistan is having a superb tournament going on as they have defeated Nepal and Bangladesh as of now and would be looking to dismantle a big team like India. However, Rohit Sharma & Co. are filled with star players who can turn the game at any point in time.
The Men in Blue have a better record in the Asia Cup over Pakistan and if they bowl first and keep them under 250, then no one can stop them from winning the battle especially when they have some big names in the batting line-up. The addition of Jasprit Bumrah to the squad is an added advantage for the team.