India vs Pakistan, irrespective of the tournament, the scenario the place, the time - is a big game. But come Sunday in Mirpur, the importance will just be cranked up that little higher in what looks like a virtual semifinal of the Asia Cup 2014.
(Read the India vs Pakistan report HERE)
(Afridi and Misbah reaction HERE)
(Virat Kohli comments HERE)
India have won against Bangladesh and lost to Sri Lanka, while Pakistan have beaten Afghanistan, while going down to Sri Lanka, who are primed for a final place.
Neither of the Asian powerhouses have looked anything remotely like world beaters, with chinks in the armour more than visible for both teams.?
India have a bowling lineup that probably does not strike too much fear even to an U-16 side, while the middle order remains untested.
Pakistan also have their usual batting issues, with too much reliance on Misbah-ul-Haq and the men in green's new main man Umar Akmal.
"As a batting unit, I think if we continue to repeat the same mistakes, it will be a big problem for us," said Misbah, who could not even face a single ball against Afghanistan after suffering a comical run out.
"We have a very important match against India coming up now, so we have to avoid making these kinds of mistakes. We have to take responsibility, especially as a batting unit."
Had it not been for Akmal, Pakistan would not have gotten close to beating Sri Lanka, and could well have suffered an embarrassing defeat to Afghanistan.
"I think he has been doing well for Pakistan," Misbah said of the ridiculously talented right-hander. "You could say he could have done slightly better than this, but from the last year and a half, I think he's really doing well at that number, finishing games for Pakistan and scoring runs at crucial stages.
"I've been really happy, especially with the way he played today. I think that's what we want him to do, to finish games for Pakistan."
While the overreliance is evident from Pakistan's point of view on Misbah, India, who eased past their big rivals in the Champions Trophy in England last year, have also looked to their captain for the tournament - Virat Kohli - to pull them out of trouble, or take them to victory too many times.
And while Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane have also got runs in this tournament, you always get the feeling with this Indian side that if Kohli does not fire, then the team will invariably lose.
Asia Cup 2014: India vs Pakistan Live TV information (Match starts 2 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET)
|India||Star Sports 1,Star Sports 3 andStar Sports HD1|
|Canada||CBN andATN Cricket Plus|
|United Kingdom||Star Life OK|
|Bangladesh||Channel 9 andStar Life OK|
|Sri Lanka||MTV Sports|
Asia Cup 2014: India vs Pakistan Live Streaming information (Match starts 2 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET)
Rohit Sharma needs to get a good start at the top, while time is ripe for the likes of Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik to start pulling their weight.
The form book goes out of the window during a derby they say; and in cricket they don't come much bigger than India vs Pakistan.
Team news: India: Stuart Binny had a forgettable outing against Sri Lanka, getting out for a duck while bowling just four overs. With the Mirpur pitch expected to aid the fast bowlers a little more, Varun Aaron might come back in.
Pakistan: Misbah and the coaching staff are unlikely to make any change, even if the top order batting has been far from satisfactory.
Expected lineups: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Varun Aaron.
Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Ahmed Shehzad, Mohammed Hafeez, Sohaib Maqsood, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi, Anwar Ali, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Junaid Khan.