India and Pakistan ready to renew their unique rivalry in Asia Cup clash


India and Pakistan ready to renew their unique rivalry in Asia Cup clash

To the millions of avid and enthusiastic cricket fans of Pakistan and India, the feeling which accompanies an impending encounter between the two sub-continental rivals is one that words cannot adequately describe.
In the days, hours and weeks leading up to such matches, all conversations at home, at the office or school conveniently centre around cricket and precious little else is discussed.
The basis for this cricket madness can be found in the history of animosity between the two nations and in the fact that sport is used as a proxy battlefield where dominance by one side results in a great boost in respective national pride.

For the ordinary fan, the game of cricket almost takes a side-show and great pleasure is derived by a victory at all costs accompanied by heaping of as much humiliation to the other side as is humanly possible.
The fact that the cricket boards of both sides are currently embroiled in a lengthy dispute regarding India's alleged non-compliance to an agreement to play bilateral series, gives an extra edge to each encounter between the sides.
On the few occasions in recent times when the sides have actually met, the matches have attained the stature of mythical masterpieces where each ball, run, wicket and every word spoken by the players are etched in the supporters' memories for generations to come.
In recent times, it has been India who have held dominance over Pakistan in the shorter formats of the game. This was a trend that was overturned in the summer of 2017 at The Oval when Pakistan scored an emphatic victory over India in the final of the Champions Trophy.

On the other hand, the dismay in India at this catastrophe was felt not only at The Oval, around the nation, but also among Indian fans around the globe. It was a day to remember for Pakistanis, but a day to forget as an Indian.

The stakes will always be high when Pakistan and India meet on the cricket field and their upcoming group game on September 19 will be no exception. To many, the encounter in the blistering late summer heat of Dubai will be a grudge match where a wounded India will look to avenge the humiliation of their previous meeting in England.
While in the run-up to their match, Pakistani and Indian players merrily play down the importance of the match as 'just another game', seasoned observers will know that the truth is far from that. A victory in Dubai for Sarfaraz Ahmed's men will be an affirmation of their new-found confidence over their arch-rivals.
The super-hero status that the nation is likely to bestow upon the Pakistani players in the event of a win in Dubai or indeed in the two other possible encounters during the ongoing Asia Cup will be a great motivator for all concerned, as will the fear of defeat against the old enemy.

For Rohit Sharma's side, the Dubai encounter will present a perfect opportunity to demonstrate to Indian fans that the loss in the final in the Champions Trophy was nothing but an aberration and that normal services of their superiority over Pakistan will resume.
Of course, the absence of Pakistan's tormentor-in-chief, Virat Kohli, could play a huge role in the outcome of the game. However, the Indian side has plenty of match-winning options who could deal a painful blow to the hopes of glory for Pakistan and this is something Sarfaraz Ahmed and co will be mindful of as they prepare for what promises to be an enthralling encounter.
The UAE has been Pakistan's home away from home due to their inability to host international teams regularly in their own country. But if they have any illusions of having a partisan crowd cheering them on as they take on India under lights at the DSC, they may well be in for a rude awakening.

All in all, a great atmosphere and an even bigger game awaits the audience and the players on September 19. On that day, the well clichéd terms such as 'no prisoners taken' or 'no quarter given or asked for' will flow readily from the observers' tongues and one could be forgiven to think that the future of the universe was at stake when the toss finally takes place in Dubai.
Regardless of the outcome, there can be no doubt that an India-Pakistan game played in whichever part of the world is a spectacle well-worth the hype it creates and is one that the world of cricket always cherishes.


India and Pakistan ready to renew their unique rivalry in Asia Cup clash India and Pakistan ready to renew their unique rivalry in Asia Cup clash Reviewed by Dragon on September 19, 2018 Rating: 5

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