Babar aims 100 percent team effort in action-packed Pak-India game
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Asia Cup 2022 kicked off with a surprise when the Afghanistan side beat easily Sri Lanka with wickets in hands. Now, all eyes are on a high-voltage Group A match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan that will be started at 7 pm (PST) Sunday.
Locals and cricket enthusiasts already arrived from near and far-flung destinations for the tournament. Cricket fans will attend the action-packed match at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, while millions of fans are going to watch the match via digital streams.
Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr are out from the Pakistan squad, while the Indian side is playing the game without Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel.
The two teams are still tough competitors as both attempt to start the Asia Cup momentum on a winning streak despite the absence of superstars bowlers. This is the second time when two teams are facing each other after the ICC Men's T20 World Cup last year—that Pakistan won by historic 10 wickets.
Skipper Baber Azam ahead of a crucial match said: “I know there is tremendous excitement in both countries but for us, it is just another game. Our preparations have been excellent and we will take the field oozing with confidence”.
Recalling the last match, Babar commented Dubai is the same venue where greenshirts outperformed Rohit-XI last year, but it should not be the standard bar. He urged his teammates to focus on Asia Cup matches without considering the past. Babar wants to take all the upcoming matches as new assignments that will be played in new conditions.
Pakistani skipper states, “We have a squad full of quality cricketers and match-winners, who will step up in the absence of Shaheen Shah Afridi and take additional responsibility during the tournament. In the 2021 T20 World Cup, we have already demonstrated we are not a one-man squad. In five league matches, we had five different players the matches.”
Star batsman was deeply touched by how Indian players interacted with Shaheen Shah Afridi and showed him their backing following the training session on Thursday.
The images of the athletes engaging with one another were very charming and displayed the friendship and respect they have. On game day, however, everything will be put aside as members from both teams attack one another ferociously in an effort to dominate the other.
India leads Pakistan 7-2 in head-to-head matchups in T20Is. India played 29 matches and won 22, compared to Pakistan's 13 matches and two losses during the last 12 months.
The Asia Cup 2022 will be played under a T20 format for only the second time in its 15-year history, which began in 1984. The 2016 T20 Asia Cup in Bangladesh was won by India, with Pakistan finishing third.