So the most awaited match of the Asia Cup T-20, 2016 is about to kick off in a couple of hours’ time as the tournament favorites India lock horns against the arch rivals Pakistan on Saturday night. It’s going to be a cracker of a game as both teams have quality players in their respective sides.
Needless to say, whenever these two teams have faced each other in any format of the game, the atmosphere has always been adrenaline-rushing and it’s expected that tonight’s India Vs Pakistan Asia Cup T20 match won’t be much of a difference.
India Vs Pakistan Asia Cup T20 Match Details
Match: India Vs Pakistan, Asia Cup T-20, 2016, 4th Match
Date: Saturday, 27th February, 2016
Time: 01:30 p.m. GMT, 07:00 p.m. IST, 07:30 p.m. local
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka
India started off their campaign against the hosts Bangladesh with a convincing and comprehensive victory. Going into this India Vs Pakistan Asia Cup T20 match, the men in blue will look to continue the momentum and keep dominance on their counterparts. On the other hand, Pakistan will be eager to change the poor statistics that they have against India in the shortest format of the game. As the records suggest, Pakistan have managed to have won just 1 match out of 5 clashes they have had so far against India in T20I format.
Coming into the series, India had beaten Sri Lanka 2-1 at home in the 3-match T-20I series. Prior to that, India whitewashed the Aussies down under in the T-20I series that had as many matches as against the Islanders. Last time when India played in Bangladesh, they were struggling against the hosts and eventually lost the 3-match ODI series 1-2. However, this time around they seem to have adapted to the conditions pretty well as they thrashed the tigers with a huge margin in the Asia Cup opener few days back.
Pakistan, on the other hand, had lost the 3-match T20I series against the blackcaps in New Zealand prior to this tournament. Nevertheless, that won’t make much of a difference as the conditions in New Zealand were different to the ones in the subcontinent. And given the fact that almost all of the Pakistani players have played in the recently concluded inaugural PSL, they have had enough match practice going into this clash of titans.
For India, the strength has always been their batting line-up. With opener Rohit Sharma probably in the best form of his career, Suresh Raina clicking in the middle order, Hardik Pandya playing those crucial cameos, Indian batting order looks solid. The concerns for India though are the old folk Yuvraj’s recent not-so-good form and Dhoni’s back spasms that he had during a training session prior to the match against Bangladesh that almost ruled him out of that match. It will be intriguing to see whether he gives some rest to himself and allows Parthiv Patel who has been called up into the side as back-up for the Indian skipper in the limited over cricket. However, this seems unlikely as Dhoni won’t want to perturb the balance of the side and the same 11 are likely to take the field.
If we look into the Pakistan squad, they have a mixture of experienced players and newbies. The team trunk stands mostly on their bowling attack. The pitch in Shere Bangla Stadium had a bit of grass on it in India’s last encounter. If the conditions don’t change, the pace-heavy Pakistani bowling unit will be licking their lips. With the likes of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and the returning Mohammad Amir, Paksitan have a fiery and menacing bowling line-up which will be looking to go all guns against the Indian batsmen.
India: MS Dhoni (C & Wk), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suresh Raina, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Pawan Negi, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh, Parthiv Patel
Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (C), Mohammad Hafeez, Khurram Manzoor, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed (Wk), Umar Akmal, Imad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Sami, Sharjeel Khan, Khalid Latif
Going by the recent performances and results, I reckon, India would be having their 2nd victory in this tournament and further better their T20I records against their arch neighbors. However, Pakistan will also leave no stone un-turned to start their campaign on a winning note. So the cricket loving people of these two nations will be looking forward to witnessing this India Vs Pakistan Asia Cup T20 match.