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India vs Pakistan: Red-hot Men in Green to punish tired arch rivals

Openers to help Pakistan brush aside their fierce rivals easily
India vs Pakistan Preview & Betting Tips
Balanced and in-form Pakistan set to win a high-voltage battle (AFP/Getty Images)
Conrad Castleton 19 Sep 2018
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India vs Pakistan Preview & Betting Tips


Physical exertions will be a worry for India as they take on arch rivals Pakistan in their final Group A match in the Asia Cup. With less than 24 hours between games, India will be stretched in the extreme Dubai and will likely be brushed aside by the in-form Pakistan side.

India

The defending Champions huffed and puffed their way to a 26 run win over Hong Kong to book their place in ‘Super Four’. Opener Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 127 off 120 balls to lead India to a combative 285/7. 

Top-order bat Ambati Rayudu provided support with 60 off 70, but the Men in Blue fell at least 20 runs short of a good score. Bowlers received heavy workout in the heat, as Hong Kong took the game to the last over and finished with 259/8. 

Debutant left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed impressed with 3/48 while leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal led the charts with 3/46. Nothing went to plan for India on Tuesday, although some of the regular players were rested.

Pakistan

The red-hot favourites brushed aside Hong Kong by eight wickets in their tournament opener last Sunday. Left-arm seamer Usman Khan’s 3/19 led the way for Pakistan, with Hasan Ali’s 2/19 and Shadab Khan’s 2/31 providing ample support. 

Hong Kong could only muster 116 with nearly 13 overs left unused. Pakistan strolled to victory in 23.4 overs, with opener Imam-ul-Haq leading the chase with 50 off 69. 

The Men in Green were completely dominant against the minnows, with an injury scare for Usman Khan remaining their only concern out of the match. With the openers in such great form and bowlers clicking in unison, an all-round Pakistan side look set for picking up another regular win over their arch-rivals.

Head-to-Head

India and Pakistan played 129 ODIs, with India winning 52 and losing 73. In the UAE, they played 26 matches with 19 of them won by Pakistan. In the Asia Cup, the H2H record is 5-5 in 11 matches, with one no result.

The last time these sides played was in the final of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, where Fakhar Zaman’s 114 off 106 balls led Pakistan to a 180 run win, as Mohammad Amir took 3/16 and Hasan Ali impressed with 3/19. 

Match Up

Consistency of openers is tipped to lead Pakistan against India (AFP/Getty Images)

India looked under cooked against Hong Kong and their middle-order problems were apparent. Playing back-to-back in the extreme heat will also be a factor going against them.

Pakistan look extremely balanced with their playing XI and are enjoying their cricket at the moment. With openers Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq showing great consistency, they look set to trump India before the ‘Super Four’ begins.

Key Statistics

  • India have won 4 of their last 6 ODIs against Pakistan.
  • Pakistan have won 19 of 26 ODIs against India played in UAE.
  • Pakistan have won 3 of their last 4 ODIs played at this venue.
  • Pakistan had the best opening partnership in 5 of their last 6 ODIs.
  • Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman scored at least 31 runs in 5 of his last 6 ODIs.
Verdict

Pakistan look strong to brush aside the Men in Blue. With their openers performing consistently, the Men in Green are set for another win. Back-to-back matches will also be a concern for Pakistan. 

Best Bet: Pakistan Highest Opening Partnership @ 2.00
Win Bet: Pakistan to win @ 2.10
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