India and Pakistan will clash in their opening encounter in the Asia Cup 2022 at the Dubai International Stadium, where 10 months ago Pakistan secured their first win over India in World Cups. Cricket lovers desperately wait for an Indo-Pak clash as the two sides only play each other in ICC tournaments and Asia Cup.
The Men in Blue will be aiming for their third consecutive Asia Cup title. They are the defending champions and have won the event seven times, which is the most by any team.
But it won’t be easy going for the Indian team as they will be missing two of their key bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel, who has been ruled out due to injury. Also, India’s top-order batters KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are making a comeback to the team. This game is set to be Rahul’s first T20I in 2022 and Kohli hasn’t played international cricket since July.
In this scenario, a lot of responsibility will lie on India’s middle order, especially Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya, who has been in rich form this year. Also, Indian bowlers will have to step up as their top order doesn’t look as threatening as it used to be.
Pakistan suffered a huge blow as their leading pacer Shaheen Afridi was ruled out due to injury. He played a key role in their victory over the Men in Blue in the World Cup and left-arm seamers traditionally trouble the Men in Blue. Also, young pacer Wasim Jr. will be missing this year’s edition due to injury as well.
But Pakistan’s top order which consists of Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, and Fakhar Zaman looks strong. Babar and Rizwan are in the form of their lives and it would be a challenge for the Men in Blue to get past them. And as seen in the T20 World Cup, Asif Ali’s power-hitting at the end also poses a huge threat to the Indian bowling.
WAGING ODDS: India (1.40) Vs Pakistan (2.95)
India is the favourite and is priced at 1.40, meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹140.
Pakistan is the underdog and is priced at 2.95 meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹295.
In recent years, we have seen that Indo-Pak games have been one-sided. But that will never reduce the hype for this contest as TV ratings are expected to soar every time. Pakistan has good experience of playing in the UAE and they used the conditions very well last time.
But the toss will play a critical role in the evening game as we saw in last year’s World Cup as chasing teams have a higher winning percentage. Hence, the team who wins the toss will have the upper hand in the match. But before the toss, Team India will fancy their chances to win the encounter as they are looking like a stronger unit as compared to their opponent.