|After long nine months wait the much awaited game of the Asia Cup 2010 finally arrived. It will be intense battle when arch-rivals India and Pakistan take on each other in the fourth game of Asia Cup 2001 at Rangiri Dambulla international stadium.
Pakistan must win this game to stay in the contention for the Asia Cup final after having lost their first game against Sri Lanka despite of superb batting display by their captain Shahid Afridi.
Pakistan after loosing their first game needs to short out their batting department specifically the out-of-depth youngsters at the top. With the return of Shoaib Akhtar their bowling department looks sharp and in shape which will test the top and middle order Indian batsmen.
Last time when these two team mates, Pakistan came out as winner in the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa. Where Shoiab Mallik scored a brilliant century for his team and Pakistan needs such type of performance again from someone to beat India in such a high pressure battle.
Pakistan are known to be dangerously volatile when put in a do-or-die situation, as is the situation now after they lost their first match to Sri Lanka. Shahid Afridi has already shown the sign of return to form after a 75 ball 109 runs knock against Sri Lanka. With batsmen like Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal and Shoiab Malik in their rank they can expect to beat India of everything go as per their plan.
India on the other hand needs to short out their bowling which was punished badly by the Bangladesh openers in their first game. Their batsman Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli also needs to put some runs on the board to put less pressure on M.S.Dhoni in the middle order.
With both teams raring to go on each other after nine months it would be an intense battle in the middle.
Watch out for
Virendra Sehwag: He has just scored 11 runs in his first outing after returning from shoulder injury but he has earn the confidence needed for international games by picking up four crucial wickets. So in any department he will be the key man for India.
Shahid Afridi: His century was in vane, when his team lost the game by rare margin of 16 runs. However his record against India is outstanding and he will try to repeat one of his past performances to keep his team hopes alive in 2010 Asia Cup.
Pitch & Condition
At Rangiri Dambulla international stadium, as we have seen in last three games batting under light is not as easy as it is during the day time. So toss will once again play a crucial part in the fate of the game against India and Pakistan. Team winning the toss would like to bat first and put somewhere around 260 runs on the board.
India is likely to go into the game with Same XI as Pakistan unless there is some injury concern for any players.
Likely Playing XI for both Teams (Match is Schedule to begin at 14:30 PM India Time)
India Squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautham Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Captain/WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra.
Pakista Squad: Salman Butt, Shahzaib Hasan, Umar Amin, Shahid Afridi (Captain), Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Kamran Akmal(WK), Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Aamer.
India and Pakistan have played eight times in the Asia cup with India managing to win three while loosing four to Pakistan.
Shoaib Malik and Salman Butt has phenomenal record against India with both batsmen scored their most of the centuries against arch-rivals India.