The Asia Cup is about to begin in a few days in the UAE. The much-awaited match-up between India and Pakistan is on September 19th in Dubai. This is the first time these two teams are meeting after the Champions Trophy final in June 2017. In that contest, Pakistan upset the favourites India in a comprehensive fashion.
But the playing conditions for the Asia Cup in the UAE will be completely different from what the teams experienced in England. The pitches will be dry and batting friendly, there will likely be no help for seam and swing bowlers, dew will play a major factor, the contribution of spinners will be critical, and hot and humid atmospheric conditions will test the players' fitness levels.
The UAE is Pakistan's adopted home. They have played all their international games, for a better part of ten years, there. So, theoretically, they are more familiar with the playing conditions. However, their ODI record in the UAE is not very impressive. Moreover, India should be comfortable with the conditions as well since the pitches and weather in the UAE are not too different from India's home conditions. In terms of crowd support, both teams should expect an equally enthusiastic level of support, given a thriving Indian and Pakistani population in the UAE.
India has just completed its tour of England and will arrive in the UAE shortly. Pakistan, meanwhile, has been practising in Lahore in the lead up to the Asia Cup. The squads for both teams have been announced. One notable omission in India's squad is the name of Virat Kohli. India has decided to rest him for this tournament.
Here's the probable XI for both the teams:
India's Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, K. Jadhav, MS Dhoni, H. Pandya, B. Kumar, K. Yadav, Y. Chahal, J. Bumrah.
Pakistan's Probable XI: F. Zaman, I. Ul-Haq, B. Azam, A. Ali, S. Ahmed (C), S. Malik, F. Ashraf, S. Khan, Hassan Ali, M. Amir, U. Khan
Now, let's compare the teams in terms of their batting, bowling, and fielding to determine which team matches up better.