Dubai: India face Pakistan for the second time at Asia Cup 2018, on Sunday in high-profile clash at the Dubai International Stadium.
India's opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Rohit Sharma has had a brilliant campaign in the ongoing Asia Cup as they look very much confident on the pitch and have given a solid start till now. The opening pair has so far contributed 371 runs in the three matches played in Dubai.
Shikhar Dhawan, who had a terrible campaign in the England Test series, scored a century in the first match against Hong Kong, scored 46 against Pakistan and a 40 run knock against Bangladesh on Friday. Dhawan sits atop on the highest scoring table with 213 runs while skipper Rohit Sharma is placed third with 158 runs.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's opening pair looks shambolic especially their much-hyped youth player Fakhar Zaman, two ducks in two consecutive matches.
India has got their deadly duo of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar back in the squad and they are firing with all cylinders. Although Indian bowlers did put up a good show in the England series but this duo is what they missed as it was lower order English batsmen, who made the difference when India failed to get a breakthrough.
Much firepower has been added with Kuldeep and Chahal performing extraordinarily. India would have missed a fifth bowling option after Pandya was ruled out of the series, but miraculous Kedar Jadhav came to fill the gap.
And Sir Jadeja put the icing on the cake as he came cruising back in the squad with a four-wicket haul against Bangladesh in Dubai.
Pakistan, on the other hand, managed to escape with a narrow three-wicket win against Afghanistan on back of a Man of the Match performance from Shoaib Malik in their last match. Their bowling department, as usual, has been consistent but their batsmen have been struggling to score runs.
World No. 5 Pakistan, have had a hard time in this Asia Cup as they were crushed by India by 8 wickets and 126 balls to spare and achieved a hard-fought victory against Afghanistan.
Their opening pair had failed to put up a good show together. Imam-ul-Haq seems to be on and off while Fakhar Zaman got out on duck, twice. Pakistan's middle order remains very much dependent on veteran Shoaib Malik and has so far missed a big partnership after the openers have failed to score.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Lokesh Rahul, Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed, Siddarth Kaul
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.
Stats and trivia
Sunday September 23, 2018
Start time: 1530 local (11:30 GMT, 5pm IST)