Asia Cup 2018: Rohit Sharma’s India ‘looking forward to Pakistan clash’

first_imgAs the six nations gear up for Asia Cup 2018, the spotlight returns on the legendary battle between India and Pakistan.India will play against Pakistan for the first time since the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2017 when the two teams meet at the Asia Cup on September 19.It will be the first match played between the two arch-rivals since the ICC Champions Trophy final in 2017 which Pakistan won by a comfortable margin to lift the title in England.MS Dhoni-Shoaib Malik exchange pleasantries during practice session in DubaiIndia, who had beaten Pakistan earlier in the tournament, were completely outplayed in the final thanks to brilliant bowling performances from Mohammed Amir, Hasan Ali and Shadab Khan after Fakhar Zaman’s debut hundred at The Oval in the first innings which helped Pakistan post a mammoth 338/4 after being put into bat.Asia Cup 2018: Can Rohit Sharma shine as a captain once again?The two teams will get another chance at the Asia Cup to entertain the fans, who have been deprived of bilateral series between India and Pakistan since 2008.The boys are back in action. Time for the #AsiaCup to get underway here in Dubai. Snapshots from #TeamIndia’s practice session on Day 1 (@BCCI) September 14, 2018Overall, the two nations have played 129 ODIs with Pakistan holding a 73-52 advantage over India.Asia Cup 2018: Will Virat Kohli’s absence hurt India’s chances?But India, under the leadership of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, will be the favourites heading into this match. The two traditional rivals have been grouped together in Group A.advertisementMS Dhoni’s chance to answer critics after average England seriesSpeaking during the captains’ press meet, Sharma said, “It is always exciting to play Pakistan. They are a great nation. They have been playing good cricket, off late. We are looking forward to that clash but again there are other teams here as well who are eying for the title.”Laxman names Shoaib Malik as real threat for India vs Pakistan”The games played here will be quite competitive. The focus should be on the whole tournament as everyone is here for the title,” he added.#WATCH: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Hong Kong& Afghanistan captains address media in Dubai ahead of Asi (@ANI) September 14, 2018Reflecting on the climate conditions in the United Arab Emirates, where the Asia Cup will be held, the right-hand batsman said that it is not at all pleasant.”Climate is not so pleasant for sure. Exactly the reason we wanted to come a little earlier and get accustomed to the conditions.” he said.Rohit was also asked if the Asia Cup will be a build up to next year’s World Cup in England, to which he said: “In a way, you can say that. Every team wants to go to the World Cup in a good frame of mind. But we shouldn’t be looking too far ahead. Obviously the Asia Cup gives every team an opportunity to get the combination right before the World Cup.”The Mumbai batsman went on to add that while the World Cup will be at the back of his mind, it is better to take one game at a time.”I won’t understand how Angie (Angelo Mathews), Sarfraz (Ahmed) or Mashrafe (Mortaza) are looking at it and what their strengths and weaknesses are. But as the tournament progresses, we will understand what teams are doing.”The World Cup is too far ahead. We will play a lot of games before that. A lot of players will get an opportunity to stake claim for a berth in that World Cup squad. It’s a great opportunity to try for that perfect combination,” said Rohit.I am sure everyone is looking forward to it, but we will just focus on the match at hand. It is always exciting to play Pakistan, they have been great lately and have played very good cricket: Indian Captain Rohit Sharma on India-Pak match on September 19 #AsiaCup2018 #Dubai (@ANI) September 14, 2018India begin their Asia Cup campaign against Hong Kong on September 18 before taking on arch-rivals Pakistan the next day.Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed, on the other hand, termed the Asia Cup as a big opportunity for all the participating teams.Speaking on their own game plan ahead of the tournament, Ahmed said that they would be taking one game at a time.Pakistan, meanwhile, have won the tournament twice. The first time in 2000, when they beat Sri Lanka in the final, and then in 2012.advertisementlast_img read more