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The India–Pakistan cricket rivalry is one of the most intense sports rivalries in the world.  The players of both teams are under intense pressure to win and face extreme reactions in defeat. Through the 1980s and 1990s, the UAE desert was the site of cricket rivalry between the teams in Sharjah. On Sunday, this epic rivalry is set to resume in the 2nd match of Asia Cup. India have some scores to settle as they were humbled in the last encounter in the t20 wc last year on the same ground. Its a landmark game for Kohli as he is all set to play his 100th t20i and will become the only player after Ross Taylor to play 100 games in all 3 formats. He has done exceedingly well against Pak in t20is with scores of 78*,9,27,36*,49,55*,57

A major blow for both teams has been the absence of pace spearheads Jasprit Bumrah and Shaheen Afridi. It will be the first time in many years that Pakistan does not have a left arm pacer in their bowling attack against their neighbours. Injuries have plagued them and Mohammaed Wasim Jnr has withdrawn from the team. This is an inexperienced attack, there are two rookies in Dahani and Naseem Shah.
Although Babar and Rizwan have been among runs, their strike rates in Powerplay have been widely criticized. Pak failed to reach 50 runs even once in PP in the last wt20. 

India have a slight headache regarding selections. In all likeliness, Dinesh Karthik will have to sit out of the playing 11. It will be a harsh decison since he has scored more than 500 runs at an average of 40 and Strike rate in excess of 160 in all t20s played this year. He has set many records batting at no 7 and has won 2 MoM in t2ois against SA and WI respectively. Its a huge opportunity for Arshdeep Singh in absence of Bumrah and Harshal in death overs. In 2022 IPL, he had the best economy in death overs and was too impressive in WI where he won the man of the series award. The toss is always a deciding factor in UAE. Going with the pattern the teams will opt to bowl first and prefer chasing. 



Probable XI


Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan


Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Hasnain, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani




Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai 

Total matches                    75
Matches won batting first    34
Matches won bowling first    40

Average 1st Inns scores    141
Average 2nd Inns scores    124

Highest total recorded    211/6 (20 Ov) by IRE vs SCO
Lowest total recorded    55/10 (14.2 Ov) by WI vs ENG

Highest score chased    183/5 (19.4 Ov) by AFG vs UAE
Lowest score defended    134/7 (20 Ov) by OMAN vs HK



Head to Head 

Overall: IND leads by 7-2
Bat 1st: IND leads by 3-2
Bat 2nd: IND leads by 4-0
In Dubai: PAK leads by 1-0



Match Ups

Babar v Bhuvi: 6/0 at 100 sr
Babar v Jadeja: 19/0 at 135 sr

Rizwan v Bhuvi: 16/0 at 133 sr
Rizwan v Jadeja: 9/0 at 90 sr

Kohli v Hasan: 23/0 at 177 sr
Kohli v Shadab: 6/0 at 85 sr

Pant v Hasan: 16/0 at 266 sr
Pant v Shadab: 12/1 at 100 sr

SKY v Hasan: 0/1



Form Update
(last 5 innings)



Key players and Fantasy picks

Captain/Vice Captain

Hardik Pandya: Since his return from the injury, he has put a brilliant case for being one of the finest all rounders in the t20 format. With captaincy and leading his IPL team to a title victory he has emerged as a more mature player. 487 runs in 2022 IPL and Man of the match performance in the final with the ball. 350 runs at a SR of 143 in last 15 t20is and 10 wkts including a 4 fer against Eng makes him one of the most utility players in the format.

Fakhar Zaman/ Surya Kumar Yadav: Fakhar hasn't been among runs in his last 5 outings but there's hardly any doubt over his abilities as he displayed it against Aus in wc semis. He plays spin well and the match up against Chahal and Jadeja is going to be interesting. SKY is currently ranked no 2 in ICC mens t20i rankings. He scored over 300 runs in 6 games for MI and top scored in 4 of them before getting ruled out because of injury. Since his comeback, he scored a 100 agaisnt Eng and played a couple of amazing knocks against WI. 

Mohammad Rizwan: He scored over 1300 runs in 2021 with average of 73 and strike rate of 135. Thats a record for most runs in t20is in a calendar year. Overall he scored more than 2000 runs in t20s. 

Budget pickings
(Fantasy rating - 8/8.5 points)

Bhuvaneshwar Kumar: He has picked up 20 wkts in t20is this year and has provided consistent breakthroughs in Powerplay. He sets up the game early and Pak's top order should be wary of him.

Wild Card:

Virat Kohli: There has never been a time when the discourse has not revolved around him prior to a big game, let alone when it involves an arch rival. The month long break after the England series must have left him mentally fresh, so we might see Kohli 2.0 in the near future.


Fantasy XI



Stats and Trivia 



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