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2 crucial duels that could decide the winner of India-Pakistan clash

Saroj Karki
CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
Timeless

India v Pakistan - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup
India v Pakistan - 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup

Is there any bigger rivalry in cricket than a classic India-Pakistan clash? Probably not. Thanks to the highly entertaining tournament like Asia Cup 2018, that we could see these old nemesis renew their rivalry and go head to head once again. The two cricketing giants from Asia are all set to face each other in Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 19 at 5:00 pm IST.

Personal battles are always the subject of discussion and interest in these types of high profile encounters; which more often than not, have an impact in the result of the match. The following two crucial duels could well and truly decide the winner of the India-Pakistan clash.


1.  Rohit Sharma vs Mohammad Amir

India v Pakistan - ICC Champions Trophy Final
Aamir poses a significant threat to India's skipper

“There is just so much hype around him, he is just a normal bowler”, these were the words of Rohit Sharma back in 2016 about the Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Amir. Ever since then, it has always been a fiery contest every time they have faced each other.

Till date, Amir has dominated the contest dismissing Rohit Sharma 3 times in 5 games across different formats. In ODIs, Pakistan’s pace spearhead has bowled 42 balls to Rohit, conceding just 18 runs and picking up his wicket once, on that historic day in Champions Trophy Final.

If India is to beat Pakistan in the group stage of Asia Cup 2018, Rohit needs to forget about his past struggles against Amir and get the better of his nemesis. Especially in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, the pressure is even more on Rohit Sharma to deliver and give a solid opening start to the team.

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Amir, on the other hand, may not get the same helpful conditions in Dubai as he got last time around in the Champions Trophy final. Who comes out on top in this crucial personal duel, might have a bigger say in the outcome of the match.

2. Jasprit Bumrah vs Fakhar Zaman

India v South Africa - ICC Champions Trophy
Bumrah will look to amend his previous mistake

No one might have forgotten the costly no-ball Bumrah bowled against Pakistan in that crucial ICC Champions Trophy final. Fakhar Zaman, the ultimate hero of the match was given an early life when he was initially dismissed by Bumrah only to see the right-arm fast bowler clearly overstepping in his delivery stride. Fakhar later went on to make the Indians pay by scoring the match-winning hundred.

Surely, Bumrah still remembers that incident and would be desperately looking to make the amends this time around when they face each other once again tomorrow. In the last couple of years, Bumrah has developed into high-quality pace bowler which also clearly reflects in his ODI rankings.

The no. 1 rated ODI bowler is certainly high on confidence after bowling exceptionally well of late, and would look to continue with the same intensity when India meets Pakistan tomorrow.

Fakhar Zaman, on the other hand, has been an absolute revelation at the top of the order for Pakistan. Having made his debut only 15 months ago, Fakhar has already made his name as one of the most dependable batsmen of the team.

In a short career so far, he has expeditiously crossed the 1000 run mark being the fastest player to reach the milestone in just 18 innings. Once again, Fakhar has some big responsibilities on his shoulder to give Pakistan a good start with the bat and negate Bumrah’s threat in the opening period.


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