While the two teams are undoubtedly readying for the battle, India- Pakistan matches have also been about player to player clashes. Here is a list of 5 player combats one should be on the lookout for
Dubai: Whenever India and Pakistan clash on the cricket pitch, patriotic tensions run at an all-time high. Indeed, it is no other time when the neighbours are so painfully aware of their rivalry as at the time of the match.
They will lock horns again in Asia Cup where India will have a bitter after taste of their last encounter in 2017, ICC Champions Trophy in which Pakistan trampled over India.
India will be missing Virat Kohli sorely and while the team will be lead by Rohit Sharma, India will return to UAE after a decade. However, Pakistan will be favourites since UAE has been their adopted home since 2009 and they have had a fairly successful run (undefeated in the last 16 encounters, both ODIs and T20Is).
While the two teams are undoubtedly readying for the battle, India- Pakistan matches have also been about player to player clashes. Here is a list of 5 player combats one should be on the lookout for.1. Mohammad Amir vs Rohit Sharma
With India's usual run machine, Virat Kohli rested, the onus to score big is on stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma and he will be up against Mohammad Amir who proved his worth in the 2017 Champions Trophy final where he not only dismissed Sharma for a duck but also got Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli’s wickets. In the six overs he bowled, his figures were 3/16. While Amir did trample upon the Indian batting, of late he has been slipping. In eight previous encounters, he has just picked up three wickets. Sharma, on the other hand, averages 59.68 with 1,313 runs in the last 25 games. Thus it will be interesting to note who wins this battle.2. Hardik Pandya vs Shadab Khan
Hardik Pandya had ripped apart Shadab Khan's bowling in the last encounter, hitting him for sixes at will and yet he could not get the team home. There is little doubt that he would be looking forward to avenge it. Shadab on the other hand has been acting as the spin lynchpin for the Pakistani side and has bagged 26 wickets in the last 16 games. With the pitches offering little help to spinners, it remains to be seen how skipper Sarfraz Ahmed uses his 19-year-old leg-spinner.3. MS Dhoni vs Hasan Ali
Hasan Ali has been bowling fire that the batsmen have been unable to douse. In 13 games post the Champions Trophy final clash, Ali has taken 28 wickets that have come in crucial stages of the game. However, he is likely to be up against Dhoni who is known to hold the fort in adverse situations. Dhoni has an average of 58.66 with 704 runs in 23 appearances post the last encounter between India and Pakistan. It is highly likely that Dhoni will bat at number four so that he can strengthen India’s middle order and let Kedar Jadhav and Pandya play their natural game in death overs.4. Babar Azam vs Kuldeep Yadav
Azam has been in form that has given hope to the Pakistani batting order. His crucial knock of 46 and his partnership with Fakhar Zaman in the last clash made it difficult for India to achieve the target. Since then, he has scored 551 runs in 14 games at an average of 55.1. But he will be facing Kuldeep Yadav, India's most prolific wicket-taker. Yadav has impressed everyone with his haul of 48 wickets in 23 matches. The highlight of his bowling has been that he has been very economical and thus been successful in building pressure on the opponents.5. Fakhar Zaman vs Jasprit Bumrah
Bumrah has been a thorn in the flesh for Zaman. In the last encounter, Zaman could have been dismissed by Bumrah on three but that turned out to be a no-ball and Zaman went on to score a match-winning 114. In 14 matches post the Champions Trophy final, Zaman has scored 827 runs at an average of 75.18. He also became the fastest batsman to score 1,000 ODI runs in just 18 games. Bumrah has also been a consistent wicket-taker with 38 wickets in 24 games to his credit.
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Last Updated Sep 19, 2018, 3:00 PM IST