DUBAI: Off field goodwill and harmony exists between the players of traditional rivals India and Pakistan but on the field the story will be different as no mercy will be shown by the players to each other when they meet today in Dubai in their first encounter of Asia Cup 2022.
In the last T20 World Cup in 2021 Pakistan defeated India by 10 wickets to the surprise of pundits.
India has new skipper Rohit Sharma whose approach is aggressive; it has to be seen against Pakistan whether it works. Both the teams have set backs as Shaheen Shah Afridi and Waseem Jr have been declared unfit to play due to injury and for India their main strike bowler Jasprit Bumrah is also unable to play having injury.
Pakistan has the best opening pair in Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the world, with Rizwan scoring 1326 runs in 26 T20’s in 2021 which is highest by any batsman in a calendar year. Babar Azam’s has improved in leadership and he also performed well in 2021 scoring 939 runs in 26 matches. Fakhr Zaman will be key player for Pakistan, only worry is his inconsistency. The weak point of the Pakistan team is the middle order which remains a question mark as Haider Ali, Iftikhar and Asif Ali are short of experience. The absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi will be felt badly but still Pakistan has a formidable pace attack.
India on paper seems to be strong side, their top order batsmen Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Surayakumar Yadav can pose threat to any bowling side. Despite Kohli and Rahul coming after injury but they with their experience can rip apart any bowling side.
India is very strong in spin department with Ashwin, Chahal and Jadeja have shown their skills and are very experience and at the same time can perform well on any track.
The match will be nail biting and full of thrill as whenever both the teams play one rises on toes in excitement. So, get ready for the unpredictable to happen.