Cricket giants India and Pakistan may draw three times during the two weeks of the T20 competition in the United Arab Emirates.
The six-nation tournament was shifted from Sri Lanka due to political unrest and this year it assumes additional significance as the T20 World Cup in Australia is fast approaching in October and November.
Sri Lanka will take on Afghanistan in the first match on Saturday but all eyes will be on India and Pakistan, who will clash in Dubai on Sunday.
India will seek to avenge their 10-wicket humiliation by Pakistan at the same venue in last year’s T20 World Cup, and the captain Rohit Sharma Trying to keep its players on level as the hope and excitement among the fans is at a fever pitch.
“Everybody watches the game and it is without a doubt a high-pressure game, but within the group we want to create a normal atmosphere,” he told Star Sports.
History of India in Asia Cup
“We don’t want to publicize this game too much. It’s important to tell players who haven’t played against Pakistan or played them just once or twice that it’s just another opposition.”
head coach of india Rahul Dravid Kovid and India appointed former batsman late Wednesday night Plumbing Laxman To take charge in an interim capacity.
This match will be Kohli’s 100th T20 International and will be an opportunity for the great batsman to recover from the prolonged slump ahead of the World Cup.
The 33-year-old hasn’t scored a century in either format since 2019 but should freshen up after resting for the tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe.
Rohit, who has 27 centuries in 102 Tests, was made the all-format captain earlier this year.
Pakistan’s fortunes will largely depend on in-form skipper Azam, who is fresh from his team’s 3-0 ODI win against the Netherlands, with two big half-centuries.
The 27-year-old Azam is at the top of the World T20 and ODI batting rankings and led his team to victory with an unbeaten 68 against India last year.
Pakistan has brought fast bowler Mohammad Hasnain Last year, India’s T20 destroyer Shaheen Shah Afridi had to be ruled out due to a knee injury.
Defending champions India, who last won the Asia Cup in 2018 when it was played over 50 overs, and Pakistan will be joined in Group A by Hong Kong who defeated UAE in the final qualifier on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are in Group B.
The top two teams from each group advance to the Super 4 stage, which could see another match between India and Pakistan.
Great rivals may meet for a third time when they reach the September 11 final.
Sri Lanka, led by Dasun ShanakaIndia-Pakistan can be party-poppers.
They have been able to reach the finals after enjoying success in the recent home series against the backdrop of a severe economic crisis.
The victory will bring some welcome cheer for the cricket-crazy island nation ravaged in recent months by food and fuel shortages and rolling blackouts.
Afghanistan have the ability to trouble any side, their ace leg-spinner Rashid KhanOne of the leading T20 bowlers in the world, who can take advantage of and turn the pitches of UAE like in the subcontinent.
Bangladesh has been boosted by the return of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to lead the side, who said his priority is to see the struggling side improve with the World Cup.