Former Indian medium pacer Venkatesh Prasad believes Pakistan is going to hold its wood on India in the fifth match of the Asia Cup. Pakistan plays most of its cricket in the UAE. Thus, there are more familiar with the conditions as well as the pitches. Furthermore, Pakistan Super League is also hosted by UAE, which gives the advantage baton to Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan had an easy game against Hong Kong. On the other hand, India had to sweat hard for their win against the Associate nation. Therefore, Pakistan players will be fresher than their Indian counterparts.
Conditions are known better by Pakistan.
“Cricket is a game of confidence and coming off a Test series loss to England, the Indian side will be eager to get back to winning ways, albeit in a different format. Given their knowledge and experience of local conditions, I would hand Pakistan an edge over the Indian side. I say this because, over the past few years, Pakistan has played most of their ‘home’ cricket in the UAE. In contrast, India haven’t been seen in action in the region for a while. Also, the back-to-back matches, after the game against Hong Kong on Tuesday, will do India no favours, given the searing conditions. It is important for them to conserve their energy,” Venkatesh Prasad wrote for Times of India.
Chahal and Kuldeep are going to be the key.
Meanwhile, former Karnataka bowler believes India will miss the services of their skipper, Virat Kohli. However, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav can be the trump cards in the conducive conditions for spin bowling.
“While the services of skipper Virat Kohli will be missed, Rohit will benefit greatly by the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the squad. While the Indian batsmen will be in focus, it is hard not to shift our attention towards the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. They will have a lot to offer in conditions which are conducive for them”.
On the other hand, Pakistan will be the happier of the two sides as they have received more rest. Furthermore, their batting unit has shown great promise in the recent past.
“Pakistan will come into the contest well-rested and on the back of a massive win over Hong Kong. They come across as a balanced unit with Fakhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq spearheading the batting alongside Shoaib Malik, Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed. Young leggie Shadab Khan will be the key man in Pakistan’s spin department,” Venkatesh Prasad penned down.