Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq said Pakistan should be more focused on how to play against arch-rivals India rather than trying out different combinations against Hong Kong in the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 at Dubai.

Sarfraz Ahmed-led side is currently playing Hong Kong in their first match of the Asia Cup. During an interview with ESPN Cricinfo, Mushtaq said that the Men in Green team won’t be too much bothered about the ongoing encounter. Rather they will be focusing on the big match against India.

It is expected to be a crackerjack of a contest. Mushtaq is of the opinion that Sarfraz and his men must show the Indians that they have come all prepared to counter whatever challenge they throw at the Men in Green.

When the two teams met the last time around it were the men donning Green Shirts who thrashed the Men in Blue by 180 runs to lift the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 title.

Saqlain Mushtaq feels his national team should prepare themselves for the match against India

Saqlain Mushtaq
Men in Green should prepare themselves for the big match against India says Saqlain Mushtaq. Getty Images

“They should prepare themselves for India. They should go into the India match with an attitude to show India that we are here, we are preparing ourselves for you guys especially. Pakistan has to pick the best XI for the match against Pakistan. The team should be well prepared for the match against India. I think in the game against Hong Kong, they will train themselves. And [they] want to execute their batting and bowling for the India game,” Mushtaq said.

Former Indian wicket-keeper batsman Deep Dasguptaagreed to the statement. However, he said that Men in Blue and Men in Green could end up playing thrice in the tournament.

Hence all the matches will be very important. Dasgupta feels with the ICC World Cup not too far away, all the matches in the 50 overs format will be crucial for all the teams.

Men in Green are within striking distance of the target of 117 set by Hong Kong after batting first. So, the bowlers were brilliant and bowled out Hong Kong for just 116 runs.

In addition, Pakistan will face India on September 19 at Dubai. Pakistan faced Hong Kong in their opening game of the 14th edition of the Asia Cup 2018. Saqlain Mushtaq reiterated that positive attitude holds the key in the marquee clash.