The last time both India and arch-rivals Pakistan met in an international match was the final of Champions Trophy 2017, where Sarfaraz Ahmed led Pakistan thrashed India, bundling them for just 158 after scoring 338 in the first innings. The men in blue must have vanished the memories of that day, looking ahead at today’s game at United Arab of Emirates.
Perhaps, both the sides have competed 12 times against each other in the history of Asia Cup. While India is one win ahead of Pakistan with 6 victories to their name, Pakistan had won five. However, in the overall ODI encounter, Pakistan is much ahead of India with a 73-52 lead.
Owing to a lot of experience playing in UAE condition, and boasting of a comfortable win over Hong Kong, the Pakistan Team will be full of Confidence going into today’s match against India. Also, the psychological advantage that Pakistan has beaten India in the final of Champions Trophy makes Pakistan favourite, feels Veteran right-handed batsman Sunil Gavaskar.
“Pakistan is the favourite only because the big psychological advantage that they have of beating India in the final of the Champions Trophy,” said Gavaskar.
“The previous game or the ball before… always stays at the back of your mind and that creates a touch of uncertainty in your mind.” “And Virat’s absence is going to be crucial as well,” the former captain told Aaj Tak.
Earlier, India registered a very narrow win against Hong Kong on Tuesday. India had their heart in their mouth till the 34th over of second innings courtesy highest opening stand by Hong Kong of 174 runs before Kuldeep handed India their first scalp.
Post witnessing an amazing display of bowling by Hong Kong bowlers in the last ten overs, Hong Kong restricted India to 285, what could have been over 300, given the way Shikhar and Ambati were timing the ball. Hong Kong started the chase with an emphatic first-wicket stand between Nizakat Khan and Anshuman Rath of 176 runs. It looked like once Hong Kong would create history by chasing the total comfortably before the spinners came into play and put the brakes on. Yuzvendra Chahal along and Kuldeep Yadav took the crucial wickets as the Hong Kong side managed only 259 in the end, losing the game by 26 runs.
India and Pakistan have already reached the top four stage. India will play their second game against Pakistan today at 5:00 p.m.