Pakistan will take on the arch-rivals India in an Asia Cup 2018 contest on Wednesday at Dubai. It will be the first game between the fierce competitors after Champions Trophy 2017 final in June last year.
The high-voltage contest is expected to be a batting of nerves, both Pakistan and India have players in the team who can change the course of the game in no time.
Here are three players from both sides who can make a difference during the encounter.
Pakistan’s left-handed opener, Fakhar Zaman is a hard-hitting batsman and has been in prime form since making his international debut in Champions Trophy 2017. The second-ranked ODI batsman scored the first double-ton in ODI cricket for Pakistan recently and became the fastest batsman to reach 1,000 runs. His inning of 114 runs in the Champions Trophy final against India is still fresh in minds of fans.
Shoaib Malik is an experienced bloke, he is the backbone of Pakistan’s batting line. He can hold Pakistan’s inning together and can also accelerate the inning when needed. Moreover, he is arguably the best chaser in Pakistan team, who plays calculated innings while chasing targets.
Mohammad Amir, Pakistan’s ace pacer, has not been at his A game, but still the man has got the skills to rattle the solid Indian batting line. He proved it in Asia Cup 2016 then later in the final of Champions Trophy 2017 that he is a big match game and you can never write him off.
The standing skipper in place of Virat Kohli and the opening batsman of the Indian side, Rohit Sharma holds the key for India at the top of the order. The elegant right-handed batsman has got the ability to pace his inning according to the situation and temperament to play big knocks. If he gets going at the top of the order, Pakistani bowlers will have to do something special to get rid of him.
India’s former captain, MS Dhoni has got the reputation for taking away games from oppositions single-handedly. He is an aggressive batsman and has got a calm head on his shoulder, these two qualities make him a threat to any opposition. If India gets to chase in the game, he will be an important element of the Indian team.
India’s left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav can be the surprise package for Pakistan. Yadav has done brilliantly during his brief stint in international cricket so far. He has got varieties to bamboozle any opposition and the playing conditions may also support his skills, which can make him a potential threat to Pakistan.