Match Preview – India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2022, Group A

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Each time there may be an Asia Cup round, its relevance is introduced into query. Is it not sufficient that it brings collectively India and Pakistan for an precise sport of cricket exterior the World Cup and Champions Trophy? This version has the potential of as many as three matches between them. It isn’t the case however even when the remainder of the match is a facade to simply discover a method to have these groups play, it’s price it.

Since their final bilateral engagement within the first week of 2013, the 2 sides have confronted one another solely 12 occasions, 4 of them within the Asia Cup. Amongst Full Members, they’ve performed solely Afghanistan and Eire much less incessantly on this interval.

To have them play incessantly is necessary as a result of the extra India and Pakistan play one another, the much less jingoistic the followers’ response turns into, the much less the probabilities of a repeat of what Mohammed Shami needed to face the final time these two groups performed.

Among the many gamers themselves, distance has made their hearts develop fonder. Simply take a look at the priority India’s gamers have for the health of Shaheen Shah Afridi, their wrecker the final time they performed, within the video that has gone viral.

Since that match, India have shed loads of their inhibition with the bat. Pakistan have shed some ageing batters, however they’re nonetheless anchor-heavy, which works solely in nice bowling models. And their bowling is just not the identical because the final time round. Other than Afridi not being there, Imad Wasim is lacking, and Hasan Ali is again on the final minute solely as a result of Mohammad Wasim received injured. That factors to the odd type of Hasan.

India, too, will likely be lacking Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, however they nonetheless look extra settled coming into the Asia Cup. They’re tactically far more switched on than they had been earlier. Nonetheless, come match day in T20 cricket, these items can all be blown out of the park. Particularly if you play one another as occasionally as these groups do.

Kind information

India WWWLW (final 5 accomplished T20Is, most up-to-date first)
Pakistan LWWWW

Within the highlight

Virat Kohli and Babar Azam. We do not but know if they’re peas from the identical pod however the highlight is certain to observe them wherever they go. Kohli has purchased into the staff philosophy of taking extra dangers though he has himself not been getting the runs. Overlook the exterior noise, it may be silenced, however is the belief the staff is placing in him regardless of an prolonged dry run now changing into a little bit of strain?

Babar continues to be the run machine however does he belief the batters after him sufficiently to play a extra enterprising sport? It will likely be in sharp focus now that their bowling assault does not look as robust because it did final 12 months. Particularly if Pakistan are despatched in to bat first at a chase-friendly venue.

Workforce information

It’s unimaginable that India could possibly be going into the match with the identical high seven as final 12 months however nonetheless maintain a totally completely different outlook and menace. It isn’t doubtless that they take a participant of Kohli’s stature into the squad after which make him sit. That leaves Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik for one slot. Pant is a extra all-round batter and is the one left-hand batter within the high six; Karthik is a specialist finisher. Powerful alternative.

India (possible): 1 KL Rahul 2 Rohit Sharma (capt) 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Rishabh Pant/Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 R Ashwin/Avesh Khan, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Arshdeep Singh

Pakistan’s high seven is kind of settled, leaving some debate over the bowlers. With Shadab Khan being the vice-captain, it’s unlikely they are going to be going for 2 wristspinners, so Mohammad Nawaz is prone to pip Usman Qadir. With Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah offering excessive tempo, they may choose the management of Shahnawaz Dahani over Mohammad Hasnain.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Asif Ali, 5 Iftikhar Ahmed, 6 Khushdil Shah, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz/Usman Qadir, 9 Shahnawaz Dahani/Mohammad Hasnain, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Naseem Shah

Pitch and circumstances

The World Cup final 12 months and all of the IPLs within the UAE, the place matches started at 6pm, are a transparent indicator that Dubai tilts the scales closely in favour of the chasing facet. There may be some tackiness early on, and there may be dew to deal with for just one facet, versus each groups in case of late begins.

Apart from that, maintain an eye fixed out for the oppressive warmth. Even throughout the evening, the temperatures are anticipated to hover round 35°C.

Stats and trivia

  • India lead Pakistan 8-5 on head-to-head within the Asia Cup, each codecs put collectively. They’re on a three-match successful streak.
  • This will likely be Kohli’s one hundredth T20I, making him solely the second participant after Ross Taylor to play 100 worldwide video games in all three codecs.


“When there is a chance to strive completely different mixtures, we’ll strive. Alongside the way in which, if we make errors or face difficulties, we’re okay with that. We’ve spoken about it as a gaggle, and there may be nothing to concern.”
Rohit Sharma says India will maintain experimenting within the lead-up to the T20 World Cup

“Actually, that [last World Cup] sport is a factor of the previous now. It will not have an effect on Sunday’s match. I’m fully targeted on tomorrow’s sport. The groups are form of completely different, the circumstances are completely different. Though as a facet we’re assured, we can’t discuss large forward of the sport. We want to show it on the sector.”
Babar Azam does not wish to be drawn into the hype of the final 12 months’s World Cup win

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo


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