Monday, September 17, 2018

Pakistan are my Favorites for the Asia Cup!

Pakistan and India have played 26 ODIs against each other in the UAE, out which they played 24 ODIs in Sharjah and 2 in Abu Dhabi.

Those two ODIs in Abu Dhabi in 2006 was the last time the two rivals met in the UAE. It has been 12 years.

They have never played an ODI in Dubai, which seems strange considering the Dubai International Cricket Stadium opened in 2009.

And now they are set to square off twice within 4 days and potentially a third time a week later.

Come Wednesday, 19th September, Pakistan will square off against India for the first time ever in Dubai and for the first time in the UAE in 12 years!

The 25,000 capacity stadium in Dubai was sold out in less than an hour for this match.

I can't wait to be there. I was there for the two games in Abu Dhabi in 2006. I remember being there for at least half of the 24 Sharjah games that Pakistan has played against India.

Those were the days when Pakistan used to dominate India. Out of the 26 matches played in the UAE, Pakistan has won a whopping 19!

Besides their dominance in the UAE, Pakistan has many other things going for them at the moment.

  • The last time they played an ODI, it was the Champions Trophy Final in 2017, and Pakistan completely destroyed India.
  • The last time they played an Asia Cup ODI match, it was the game in Dhaka in 2014, where Shahid Afridi scarred Ashwin for life.
  • UAE is home and a like a fortress for Pakistan.
  • India is coming off a demoralizing England tour.
  • India has come for this Asia Cup without Virat Kohli.

If all this does not make Pakistan overwhelming favorites for its two games against India in this Asia Cup, I don't know what will.

Pakistan are my favorites for winning the Asia Cup too. The team has been on a roll for some time now. The young and talented cricketers have been performing exceptionally and glory for all of them is right round the corner.

Actually, they got the glory with the Champions Trophy win last year, so an Asia Cup win will only solidify Pakistan's position as one of the top limited overs side currently.

They have a courageous captain, some outstanding openers, one of the best number three batsman in the world currently, a hard hitting middle and lower order, and a destructive bowling line up that possesses unlimited variety and skill.

India and the rest of Asia need to be wary of this talented Pakistan side.

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