Dubai: Defending Asian champions India will be aiming to shut down off-field controversies when they lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup clash at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, September 19.
Both the sides emerged victorious against Hong Kong in the group fixture. While Pakistan outplayed them by eight wickets, India strolled past the associates by 26 runs.
The arch-rivals have faced each other in 125 competed ODIs with Pakistan leading the scoreline 73-52. In case of Asia Cup ODI clashes, the scoreline stands tied at 5-5.
In their most recent clash at ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final in London, Pakistan bamboozled India by 180 runs to clinch the title. Batting first, Pakistan scored what eventually was an insurmountable 338/4 with Fakhar Zaman chipping in with a fine century.
India then faced some superb fast bowling from Mohammad Amir and Hasan Ali and were also done in by Shadab Khan's leg-spin. Eventually, India was bowled out for a paltry total of 158 runs.
Men in Blue have had a tough time against spirited Hong Kong. The match went down to the wire. India somehow managed to snatch win from the jaws of defeat. Now they will have a lot of things to look after in span of a few hours and get ready for the ultimate clash.
Shikhar Dhawan struck well constructed 127 runs in the previous game against Hong Kong and becomes the first Indian player to score a century in UAE since 101 by Sachin Tendulkar against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in Oct 2000.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Khaleel Ahmed were pick of the Indian lot with three wickets each. Kuldeep Yadav also chipped in with two wickets.
Pakistan were absolutely clinical in both the batting and bowling departments against Hong Kong as they secured a comfortable eight-wicket win against the minnows.
Imam ul Haq was the pick of the lot with a steady fifty against Hong Kong. His opening partner Fakhar Zaman hit 24 runs from 26 runs. Both these batsmen along with Babar Azam, have become the core of their batting lineup and are expected to cause problems for Indian bowlers.
Usman Khan was the pick of the bowlers in the first game with economical figures of 3/17 in 7.3 overs. He was well supported by Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan, who took 2/19 and 2/31 in seven and eight overs respectively.
India: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Shardul Thakur
Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Fakhar Zaman, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Amir, Shadab Khan, Imam ul Haq, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Mohammad Nawaz, Fahim Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Shinwari, Shaheen Afridi
Pitch and conditions
It is expected to hot and humid with a high of 39 degrees. The spinners will also play a key role throughout the game.
Stats and trivia
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Start time: 15:30 Local (11.30 GMT, 5pm IST)