India vs Pakistan in an ODI match, nothing gets bigger than this for the cricket lovers around the world and especially the subcontinent as this Asia Cup in the Middle East promises one of the toughest fought rivalries in cricket that people eagerly waits.
Last time the two teams faced each other; Pakistan hammered India all over the park and took home the Champions trophy. The memories still remain afresh for fans from both the countries – anguish for the Indians while hope and joy for the Indian neighbors.
Today, the Dubai International Cricket Stadium is all geared up for the 'Clash of the Titans' and hopefully the stadium, for the first time since its inception, will see a full house. Yes, that's how big this rivalry is.
Both the teams have started their Asia Cup 2018 journey with a win against minnows Hong Kong. But India just managed to go beyond the margin last night while Pakistan had literally demolished their opponents. Pakistan definitely had their eyes glued to the screens last night and are aware of the fact that India made a mess out of themselves in a match they should have overcome easily.
Both teams have their own strength and weaknesses but when it comes to India vs Pakistan, it's all about how one shows its character and temperament on the field on that particular day. But one thing that may play against India today is fatigue. Less than 15 hours to recover from their last encounter and a bowling heavy young Pakistan team ready to pounce on it. So, India will have to show their temperament and character today.
The battle lines have been drawn and it definitely will be a contest between the opening bowlers and batsmen of both the teams. Jasprit Bumrah up against Fakhar Zaman – centurion from the last time these two teams met and Mohammed Amir vs Rohit Sharma.
India will be relying heavily on their spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzevendra Chahal to rattle Pakistan's inexperienced batting line up while Pakistan will be relying on their pace heavy bowling attack. But Hong Kong toyed around with India's spin duo and Pakistan knows it.
Overall, it will be a game of keeping things straight and simple on this massive day when emotions and adrenaline will be flowing high among not only the two teams but both the countries. A good day of cricket action awaits for the fans definitely.
Meanwhile, Pakistan have won the toss and decided to bat first. Remember the last time both teams met and Pakistan batted first?
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pakistan (Playing XI): Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfraz Ahmed(w/c), Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan