Pallekele: The mania of India-Pakistan encounter is all set to bite the cricket enthusiasts again, and this time at Asia Cup, a prelude to the ODI World Cup to be played in India.
India will open their campaign for 2023 Asia Cup on Saturday against their oldest rivals Pakistan at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium as the clash promises to be a cricketing spectacle.
Cricket enthusiasts worldwide are awaiting the electrifying encounter between Rohit Sharma-Virat Kohli combination and Pakistani pacers including Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah.
In the last five years of India-Pakistan battles, Rohit has been India’s standout performer with an impressive tally of 606 runs.
On Pakistan’s side, Shoaib Malik has been their top run-scorer with 242 runs, closely followed by Captain Babar Azam with 208 runs among the active players.
In the bowling department, wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been India’s go-to bowler with 10 wickets, while Mohammad Amir has made a significant impact for Pakistan with 6 wickets.
Shadab Khan also has 2 wickets to his name among the active Pakistani players.
The head-to-head statistics between India and Pakistan rivalry is also legendary. Out of the 132 matches,
Pakistan holds a slight edge with 73 wins, while India has claimed victory 55 times.
Their competition at Asia Cup has been even more exciting, with India winning 6 times and Pakistan 5 times out of 13 ODI faceoffs.
The last memorable clash between the two happened during the 2019 World Cup when Rohit’s breathtaking 140-run knock off 113 balls propelled India to a resounding 89-run victory via the D/L method.
The venue for this much-anticipated match also witnessed some remarkable contests in recent years. Since 2020, the average first innings score at this ground has consistently hovered around 272 runs.
Moreover, out of the last nine matches held here, six have seen teams scoring above 290 runs while batting first, and five games achieved the same feat while batting second. This suggests that the pitch at Pallekele promises a thrilling contest, favoring both batsmen and bowlers.
Interestingly, the team batting first has emerged victorious in 5 matches at this venue, while the team chasing has won 4 times. This equilibrium between batting first and second adds another layer of excitement to this upcoming battle. The pitch has also been conducive to pacers, setting the stage for a clash where seam bowlers might play a pivotal role.
With this slice of history behind the two teams, the fans from both sides are gearing up for an unforgettable contest and the stakes couldn’t be higher.
The cricketing world will be glued to their screens, eagerly awaiting the outcome of this thrilling clash of titans. UNI