The biggest match of the 2016 Asia Cup T20 -- and many will say the only one that really matters – India vs Pakistan, is finally upon us, ready to captivate, irritate, frustrate and a few more of the other 'ates.
India and Pakistan meet in the first of, at least, two matches in the space of a few weeks, and while this particular one is not as important as the second – to be played in the World T20 – there is little doubt over what is at stake.
Whenever these two teams meet – and, unfortunately, they are so rare these days – it is important and it really is a matter of we-need-to-win-this-no-at-any-cost.
Both camps have been trying to play down the magnitude of this Asia Cup encounter, and while to a certain extent they are right – it doesn't really matter in the larger context if India or Pakistan win, because all of these matches are just glorified warm-ups for the World T20 – the fans might feel differently.
At the end of the day, though, India vs Pakistan in this Asia Cup should boil down to one thing – India's batsmen vs Pakistan's bowlers. Pakistan have an array of quicks capable of snuffing out the potent batsmen that India have, but considering the form the batsmen in blue are in, you wouldn't put it past them to overcome the early trial and come up smelling like roses, much like they did on that greener-than-green wicket against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup opener.
"Yes, they have a formidable bowling attack but we would want to concentrate more on our strengths and prepare our plans accordingly," India opener Rohit Sharma, who played a matchwinning innings in the first match against Bangladesh, was quoted as saying by PTI. "Our strength is batting and depending on the wicket we will have to focus on that.
"Every team has its own specialities. They have good left-arm seamers in their armoury while we have better spinners."
The last time these two teams met was in the 50-over World Cup just over a year ago, with India picking up a convincing victory. While Rohit did not make much of an impact in that game, India's other top four certainly did, with Virat Kohli firing a marvellous hundred to go with Shikhar Dhawan and Suresh Raina's quickfire half-centuries.
If the wicket in Mirpur is one that assists the fast bowlers again, we might not get to see that much big-hitting, making it a game of who plays the bowlers better. India have the better batting lineup, without a shadow of a doubt, and while Pakistan's pace attack is scary when they are at their best, the likes of Rohit, Kohli and Dhawan have the ability to counter them.
But will they be able to withstand the pressure of an India vs Pakistan game? That is the million-dollar question, isn't it?
Where to Watch Live
India vs Pakistan, the mother of all matches, is scheduled for a 7.30 pm local time (7 pm IST, 6.30 pm PKT, 1.30 pm GMT, 8.30 am ET) start. Viewers in India can sit back, try and relax, instead of biting their nails, and watch the match live on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 and Star Sports HD1. Hotstar and Starsports online will also provide the online live streaming options if your better half forces you out of the house on Saturday evening.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the Asia Cup action live on Geo Super, PTV and Ten Sports. The online live stream option is on PTV Live Stream.
Channel 9 will broadcast the match live in Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka viewers can catch all the action live on National TV and MTV Sports.
OSN Sports Cricket HD will broadcast the match live in the Middle East and North Africa, while the match can also be live streamed on OSN Play.
Viewers in Canada, USA, UK, Europe, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand can watch this India vs Pakistan match live on Yupp TV, with the live streaming option on Yupp TV online.