The Asia Cup is one of cricket's most anticipated tournaments in the Asian subcontinent. While it features several teams from the region, none of the matches are as eagerly awaited as those between India and Pakistan. These two cricketing giants have a long and storied history in the Asia Cup, with matches that have produced unforgettable moments and fierce competition.
In this blog, we are going to tell you a brief history of India and Pakistan's encounters in the Asia Cup, a cricket tournament that has been a source of intense rivalry and excitement for cricket fans in both countries.
The Asia Cup began in 1984, and India and Pakistan first clashed in this tournament during its inaugural edition. India emerged victorious in that encounter. Over the next few years, matches between the two teams were closely contested, with both sides winning and losing matches against each other.
The 1997 Asia Cup, held in Sri Lanka, witnessed a historic moment. India and Pakistan faced off in the final, which remains etched in the memory of cricket fans. India won the match, led by an iconic century by Sachin Tendulkar. This victory further intensified the rivalry between the two teams.
In the early 2000s, India held the upper hand in the Asia Cup, winning several encounters against Pakistan. However, Pakistan bounced back with some thrilling victories. Matches like the 2004 Asia Cup clash, where India won by just three runs, showcased the nail-biting excitement that this rivalry generated.
Pakistan dominated the 2012 and 2014 Asia Cup tournaments. They won the title in both editions, defeating India in crucial encounters. These victories signaled a resurgence of Pakistan cricket, especially in limited-overs formats.
In 2016, India reclaimed the Asia Cup title with a commanding performance in the final against Bangladesh. Pakistan, on the other hand, faced a tough time during this period. In 2018, India won the Asia Cup again, defeating Bangladesh in a thrilling final. Pakistan was eliminated in the group stage
The 2020 Asia Cup, originally scheduled to be hosted in Pakistan, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, a virtual Asia Cup EA Sports Cricket tournament was organized, providing fans with a unique experience without on-field action.
The India-Pakistan rivalry in the Asia Cup continues to be one of cricket's most thrilling and intense contests, producing memorable moments that are etched in the history of the sport. Cricket fans eagerly anticipate each encounter, hoping for more memorable clashes between these two cricketing giants.
Matches between these two cricketing giants in the tournament have often been highly anticipated and have produced some thrilling moments in cricket history. Following are a few of the record-breaking performances by India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup.
The preparations are on full throttle as the date comes near. BCCI has shared a video showing the Indian Team preparing and practicing. Check it out here Prep mode 🔛 Energy levels high 💪
The 16th edition of the Asia Cup is set to begin on August 30, with Pakistan facing Nepal in the tournament opener in Multan. However, the most anticipated match for fans is the India vs. Pakistan encounter scheduled for September 2nd.
This clash between India and Pakistan is often referred to as the "mother of all battles" in cricket due to the immense public attention it garners. In the Asia Cup 2023, there is a possibility that these two cricketing giants could face each other not just once, but potentially three times during the same tournament.
“Bolne Se Kuch Nahi Hota” said Shadab Khan responding to Agarkar’s “Kohli Will Handle Them All” comment.
Pakistani all-rounder Shadab Khan responded to alleged remarks made by BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar. Agarkar had reportedly stated that Indian batting ace Virat Kohli would handle Pakistan's formidable fast bowling unit. Shadab Khan, however, emphasized that actions on the field matter more than words, not realizing that the comment attributed to Agarkar was fake. He explained that what truly counts will be revealed on the day of the match, suggesting that pre-match talk doesn't impact the actual outcome.
Their first meeting in the Asia Cup 2023 is scheduled for September 2nd at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Regarding predictions for this highly anticipated match, former Indian captain and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly diplomatically acknowledged the strengths of both teams. He stated, "It is very difficult for me to choose a favorite. They are both good teams. Pakistan is a good team, and of course, India is a very good team. There are no favorites; whoever plays well will win the game."
Ganguly also praised the comeback of Jasprit Bumrah and commended the selection committee for including Axar Patel, who adds depth to the Indian batting lineup while providing a spin bowling option.
Another former Indian coach, Mohan Lal, expressed his belief that India is the favorite to win the Asia Cup 2023, but he had reservations about the ICC World Cup 2023, citing that six top teams, including Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa, all have a chance.
Pakistan reclaimed the No. 1 ranking spot in ODIs, right before the Asia Cup.
Pakistan has regained the top spot in the ODI rankings after a clean sweep against Afghanistan. However, India poses a significant challenge in the upcoming Asia Cup, which could affect Pakistan's position.
Despite a recent 3-0 series victory, Pakistan has just managed to edge past Australia and secure the No. 1 spot in the ICC Men's ODI Rankings. Pakistan's dominance in the 50-over format has been evident for over a year, as they previously swept West Indies and Netherlands 3-0 in home and away series and beat New Zealand 2-1 at home in January.
In April, when New Zealand visited for a five-match ODI series, Pakistan performed exceptionally well, securing a 4-1 win and claiming the No. 1 ranking spot for the first time during Babar Azam's leadership.
Before the Afghanistan series, Pakistan held the second spot with a rating of 115.8, trailing Australia, who had 118 rating points. Now, Pakistan has narrowly surpassed Australia in the rankings, sitting at the top with 118.48 rating points.
While Pakistan will be entering the Asia Cup as the No. 1 ranked side, they face stiff competition from India, who stand third in the table with 113 rating points and have the ability to dethrone their arch-rivals. Pakistan enter heavy favourites against qualifier Nepal in the 2023 Asia Cup opener on August 30, a win in which will see them consolidate their position atop with 119 rating points, but the side could slip to the second spot if they lose to India in the blockbuster clash on September 2 in Pallekele, Sri Lanka.
While an Asia Cup stunner against India will help Pakistan gain a major lead at the top of the table, a loss will only leave the Babar-led side staging a fight alongside the Men in Blue to reclaim the top spot.
In terms of their fixtures, India and Pakistan are likely to meet three times in the Asia Cup 2023. The first encounter will be in the group stage on September 2nd. Both teams are placed in Group A alongside Nepal. The Super 4 stage will host their second meeting on September 10 in Colombo. If both teams perform well, they may also face off in the final on September 17.
For reference, here are the squads for India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023:
Rohit Sharma (c),Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna and Sanju Samson (travelling reserve)
Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam (c),Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Usama Mir, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Saud Shakeel, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve)
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Some Combos to help you prepare better for Clash X and Fanbattle
Here are some player combinations from the India and Pakistan squads that you can consider for Clash X and Fanbattle fantasy cricket:
Combo 1: Indian Batting Powerhouse
|Rohit Sharma (c)||India's explosive opener and captain|
|Virat Kohli||India's batting maestro, known for his consistency|
|Shreyas Iyer||A promising middle-order batsman with a good track record|
|Babar Azam (c)||Pakistan's captain and their star batsman|
Combo 2: All-round Prowess
|Hardik Pandya||An explosive all-rounder who can contribute with both bat and ball|
|Ravindra Jadeja||A dependable all-rounder for India, known for his fielding|
|Shadab Khan||Pakistan's versatile all-rounder, skilled in both batting and bowling|
Combo 3: Fast Bowling Attack
|Jasprit Bumrah||India's premier fast bowler, known for his Yorkers|
|Shaheen Afridi||Pakistan's left-arm fast bowler, a wicket-taking threat|
|Mohammed Shami||India's experienced pace bowler with a good yorker and bouncer|
Combo 4: Spin Dominance
|Ravindra Jadeja||India's spinning all-rounder|
|Axar Patel||Another spinning option for India who can bat|
|Shadab Khan||Pakistan's leg-spinning all-rounder|
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