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India and Pakistan have only faced each other in nine matches in T20 cricket due to the lack of bilateral between the two sides. India has won six of those clashes while Pakistan have won two. The one match that had ended in a tie was won by India by bowl-out. India look a stronger side on paper and should win this Group A clash on Sunday.
India to win (-250)
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India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik/Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin/Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah
The arch-rivals India and Pakistan are set to collide in a Group A fixture of the Asia Cup. The two teams will clash at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, August 28th with one eye on the upcoming T20 World Cup.
India were the champions in the only Asia Cup edition held in the T20 format. The Rohit Sharma-led side looks favourite to repeat the feat as they come into the competition on the back of the superb form. India have played 23 T20Is since their group stage exit in the last T20 World Cup, winning 19 of those. Most recently they’ve defeated England by 2-1 and West Indies by 4-1.
Pakistan last played a T20I in April, losing the game by three wickets against Australia. They had toured Bangladesh straight after their semifinal loss in the WC last year, sweeping the series by 3-0. Later in December, they hosted West Indies at home, winning by 3-0.
India will be without their frontline bowler Jasprit Bumrah due to an injury while Harshal Patel is also out of action. In the absence of these two, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh will have massive responsibility on their shoulders. India could be in a selection dilemma, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Avesh Khan fighting for one spot depending on which way they want to go. The batting unit will have the usual top three of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. There are five middle order batters with a claim in the playing XI. It could come down to Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja for one spot.
Pakistan were also dealt a big blow ahead of the tournament, with the ‘player of the match’ of the previous encounter between the two sides – Shaheen Afridi getting ruled out with knee injury. Mohammad Hasnain was called up as his replacement. Mohammad Wasim Jr suffered an injury during a net session and could be out of action. The bowling attack will likely to comprise Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain along with spin all-rounders Shadab Khan and Mohammad Nawaz. Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan form the opening batting pair, with Fakhar Zaman, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali and Haider Ali to follow.
Suryakumar Yadav: The 31yr old batter is in the form of his life and has been the best T20 batter for India in the last year or so. Suryakumar has all the classical shots in his armory and is excellent at working the field, playing all around the ground. He has done exceptionally well in international T20s, scoring 672 runs from 21 innings at an average of 37 while striking at 175. In recent months, SKY has hammered 117 off 55 against England and 76 off 44 against West Indies in their previous assignment.
Mohammad Rizwan: The right hand opening batter has a remarkable consistency in the shorter format. Rizwan averages an incredible 50.36 from 56 T20I matches, having scored 1662 runs while striking at 129. He has registered one hundred and 13 fifties in international T20s. In this year’s Vitality T20 Blast, Rizwan scored 275 runs across seven games at an average of 46 and strike rate of 144. He had scored an unbeaten 79 off 55 in their 10-wicket victory in the previous fixture in the World Cup.
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|Teams||India vs Pakistan, Group A|
|Location||Dubai International Cricket Stadium|
|Time||Sunday, 28th August, 7:30 PM IST/2 PM GMT|
|How to watch||Star Sports Network/Disney+ Hotstar (India), SportsMax (Caribbean), Fox Sports & Channel 7 (Australia), Sky Sport NZ (New Zealand), SuperSport (Pakistan), Willow TV (USA), Sky Sports Cricket (United Kingdom)|
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