Asia Cup 2018: Why the India-Pakistan clash is not just another match
If there is any battle in cricket that can come close to the fan frenzy that an Ashes series can create, it has to be an India-Pakistan series. No series can beat the fan fervour and hype that this encounter can produce. The clash between the two encounters is eagerly awaited by fans across the cricketing globe.
In current times where both the countries don’t face in a bilateral series owing to the various reasons, none of which is directly related to cricket has meant that every match these two arch-rivals play against each other holds significant relevance and importance.
There are past players who have said that no matter what they achieve against other teams, the thrill and excitement that an Indian player gets from performing well against Pakistan and vice-versa is unparalleled. Such is the value of this clash- clash of the Titans.
In times where the cricketing schedule is so cramped, it gets tough for many to emotionally invest oneself completely in a series. By the time we come out of experiencing what transpired in a series, there’s another bilateral series or a tournament to divert our focus and attention away.
Post their 80-day tour of England & Wales that left most Indian fans disappointed as the side despite looking strong on paper lost the ODI series 1-2 and the Test series 1-4. Many would be looking at the Asia Cup as a way to get back to winning ways. And India despite not having Virat Kohli in their side look a formidable side and can most definitely win the Asia Cup.
The two arch-rivals India & Pakistan face off in an ODI match after 15 months. Here are a couple of reasons why this match in the ongoing Asia Cup wouldn’t be just another match:
India would want to avenge their defeat in the Champions Trophy finals
The last time these countries faced off against each other was in the finals of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. A match that was characterized by three main factors- Fakhar Zaman’s match-winning century post a Jasprit Bumrah no-ball when he was on zero, Mohammed Amir’s brilliance with the ball and the fallout between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble.
A lot of cricket has been played since that match where Pakistan were a class apart on their way to snatching the ICC Champions Trophy away from title holders India. Both teams to their credit have performed rather well as teams in that period.
In a battle between Pakistan’s pace battery and India’s batting strength sans Virat Kohli, one would hope for a high octane, an electrifying contest between bat and ball. Although it would just be a group match between the old foes on 19 September 2018 there would certainly the thought in the minds of the Indian players to avenge their Champions trophy finals defeat by putting up a good show.
And everyone would be waiting with baited breath to see how this Indian team fares in the UAE against this Pakistan bowling line up. With a few players returning from injury, for India can they overcome the quality that they would be up against? We would have to wait and watch, can India avenge their defeat?
A lot of craze, attachment and emotions come with an India-Pakistan encounter
Any India-Pakistan clash evokes tremendous fan frenzy, craze and it has a lot of emotions riding on it. Over the years one has got accustomed to seeing the battle between Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and the likes against Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and co.
It is indeed sad that owing to non-cricketing reasons, cricket fans across the globe and especially in India and Pakistan can’t see the two teams face off against each other more often. This battle usually brings out the best from players from each side.
With such a cramped cricketing schedule, not many may be too keen on following the Asia Cup 2018. Especially as it comes a week after India’s tour of England. There is a question of player burnout and viewer burnout that the ICC need to watch out for and do something about that.
But nevertheless, when these two teams face off in a few days’ time, everyone will be glued to their television screens and the stadium will be packed to the rafters. People who don’t follow the sport or who don’t watch cricket too much also will be tuned into this clash. More than just being a cricket match, it brings the nation together and the patriotic fervour is at its highest.
A lot of pressure will most certainly be on the players to perform against their arch-rivals. But more importantly, for people who follow and love this game so much, it’s indeed a big day to see these two teams face off. With these two teams only facing off in tournaments like the Asia Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Cricket World Cup, it holds even more value and significance.
And for sure, it’s not going to be any other ODI game when the two face off against each other in a few days’ time. Everybody, mark the date, 19th September 2018.