The much-anticipated India vs Pakistan clash is just a few days away. Cricket fans across the border and neutrals are also excited for the Feb. 27 Asia Cup contest at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka. The Asia Cup, which will be played in the T20 format for the first time, makes for an even more intriguing contest in the exciting T20 format.
India, with their array of world-class batsmen, are huge favourites, but they need to be on top of their game against Pakistan, who are one of the unpredictable sides in world cricket. They can beat any team on a given day, and with a player like Shahid Afridi leading the Men in Green, expect Pakistan to give it their all in the T20 encounter.
Here is a look at how India and Pakistan have fared in the T20 format in their respective three series.
India's T20 record (last three series)
India did not play good cricket against South Africa in the three-match series in October 2015. The Men in Blue, who are a dangerous side at home, were outplayed by South Africa in the three-match series and the visitors won the series 2-0 as the third T20 was abandoned due to rain.
However, India's record in T20 in 2016 has been top class: They have defeated teams such as Australia and Sri Lanka in the T20 series. So, India should be a confident unit in the Asia Cup.
Earlier in the year, India came out all guns blazing in the T20 series against Australia, who were surprisingly defeated by MS Dhoni and his men 3-0. It was a series where all their players performed, but Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were the standout players for India, scoring massive runs. Jasprit Bumrah was also praised for his bowling performances Down Under.
With such victories under their belt, India were not expected to be troubled by Lanka earlier in the month, but they lost the first T20 by 5 wickets. However, this loss against Sri Lanka remains the only blip for India in T20 this year. The Men in Blue bounced back strongly in the T20 series, clinching the three-match contest 2-1. India dominated the last two matches, winning by 69 runs and nine wickets, respectively.
Pakistan's T20 record (Last three series)
Pakistan have been below par in the T20 series, defeating only Zimbabwe and losing to England and New Zealand in their last three series.
Though their only series victory might have come against Zimbabwe in September 2015, Pakistan had to fight it out against the African nation to get results in their favour. So one should not read too much into it as well for Zimbabwe is one of the weakest teams in world cricket.
After the series victory, Pakistan has not been able to emerge triumphant in any series. They lost the three-match series to England 0-3, though the matches were fairly tight, including the last T20 that was decided via a one-over eliminator.
In the next series against New Zealand in January, Pakistan won the first match, but lost the bext two matches and the series ended 1-2.
Therefore, we can clearly conclude India are the in-form team, and have an edge when the two teams battle it out in the Asia Cup.