The mother and father of all battles – India vs Pakistan-- is here finally. The fans cannot wait for the match to start, Saturday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
With the ICC World T20 2016 on the horizon, Pakistan will look to make a positive start to their Asia Cup T20 2016 campaign against India.
But that will be a huge task for Shahid Afridi & co. as India are on an impressive run, which started with their series win over Australia. MS Dhoni and his men also recently outplayed Sri Lanka in a three-match T20 series at home.
With the stage set for the archrivals India and Pakistan to lock horns, here is a look at some of the key battles:
Rohit Sharma vs Wahab Riaz: The 'Hitman' can do nothing wrong at the moment, as he is in the form of his life. Everyone has spoken about how Rohit makes batting looks easy, but, apart from his elegance, he is also one of the most dangerous batsmen in this format of the game. The Mumbai Indians skipper can take the bowlers to the cleaners. Pakistan will have to counter his brilliance with Wahab Riaz, who is arguably their best bowler. Riaz bowls at a good pace and the kind of wicket Shere Bangla National Stadium has produced in the first two matches, the left-arm seamer can be very handy.
Virat Kohli vs Shahid Afridi: Kohli has an impressive record against Pakistan and he has admitted in the past that he loves to play against them. He could not make much of an impact against Bangladesh, but he will look to bounce back quickly and let his bat do the talking against the archrivals. Kohli will be up against Shahid Afridi, who recently registered the best T20 figures of his career in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). Afridi is someone who has bowled those drifting leggies successfully over the years. He is likely to get some assistance from the pitch and the extra bounce can fox the batsman. Kohli also needs to watch out for his quicker one.
Shikhar Dhawan vs Mohammad Amir: The Delhi southpaw has been in good form recently as well. Dhawan has taken up this strategy of you-miss-buddy-and-I-hit in T20 cricket and that has helped him improve his strike-rate in the shortest format of the game. He played down the wrong line in the first match of the Asia Cup and got himself bowled. He will look to avoid repeating the same mistake against Mohammad Amir. Ever since his return to international cricket, Amir has done fairly well in the shorter formats of the game. Afridi will want him to step up to the occasion and fire against India.
Mohammad Hafeez vs Ashish Nehra: Hafeez is arguably the best batsman that Pakistan have in their ranks. His experience will be crucial in this all-important match as he holds a good record against India. To counter the experience of Hafeez, Ashish Nehra needs to be at his best up front with the new ball. Nehra was brilliant in the opening match against Bangladesh, and he will look to put up a similar performance against Pakistan as well.
Shoaib Malik vs Ravichandran Ashwin: The extremely talented off-spinner has been in outstanding form with the ball. Malik, who is one of the better players of spin in the Pakistan squad, will have to be extremely cautious when he plays Ashwin. Malik can hit the ball a long way and Ashwin should be wary of that as well.