Tracking the Pakistan vs India saga in Asia Cup battles
By News Desk
September 1, 2023 03:23 PM
In what is being billed as the marquee matchup of the Asia Cup 2023, traditional adversaries, Pakistan and India, are set to ignite the cricketing arena on Saturday, September 2, in Kandy. The atmosphere is palpably charged, not just because of the age-old rivalry but because of Pakistan's desire to set the record straight.
Following their thunderous 238-run triumph over Nepal, Pakistan has set the tone for their Asia Cup campaign. India, however, will be opening their tournament chapter against their fiercest competitor: Pakistan.
Historical Head-to-Head: Pakistan's quest for balance
The storied history of these cricketing giants in the Asia Cup has seen 13 thrilling contests in the ODI format. The current scorecard reveals India's slight dominance with seven wins, while Pakistan trails closely with five victories. One encounter concluded inconclusively.
It's worth noting that Pakistan's last taste of victory against their eastern neighbors in the Asia Cup dates back to the 2014 showdown in Mirpur. The unforgettable climax of that match witnessed the legendary Shahid Afridi smashing two back-to-back sixes off Ravichandran Ashwin, sealing a momentous win for Pakistan. In contrast, their last encounter in Dubai in 2018 had India cruising to a 9-wicket victory.
Asia Cup 2023: A mixed venue affair
This year's Asia Cup, spanning from August 30 to September 17, is a unique co-hosting venture between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. While initially all matches were slated for Pakistan, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expressed security reservations, leading to a change in venue distribution. Consequently, four matches will unfold on Pakistani soil, with the remaining nine, inclusive of the grand finale, to be played in Sri Lanka.
Group dynamics for the tournament place Pakistan in Group A alongside Nepal and India. Group B sees Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and hosts Sri Lanka vying for supremacy.
Format and preparations for the World Cup
Since 2016, the Asia Cup has oscillated between the T20 and ODI formats. The 2023 edition is set in the 50-over mold, aiming to assist teams in gearing up for the imminent World Cup in India. Notably, India stands as the reigning champions of the 50-over Asia Cup from the 2018 edition.
As Pakistan prepares to level the historical playing field and harness the momentum from their victory over Nepal, the Kandy clash promises nail-biting action and potentially new pages in cricket history.