India captain Rohit Sharma (right) and Pakistan captain Babar Azam. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani /Gulf News

Dubai: An India-Pakistan tie brings the cricket world to a standstill and the cricket world is eagerly awaiting another Sunday special between the continental giants in the DP World Asia Cup, to be held at the Dubai International Stadium.

With a final place at stake, the Super 4 match, a second meeting in a week, assumes greater importance with India winning the round one and Pakistan, after the narrow loss, now picking up full steam after a thumping victory over Hong Kong in the final Group A game at the Sharjah Stadium on Friday.

But again, it is the pacers who will be in focus despite both teams having injury scares ahead of the crucial match. Pakistan pacer Shahnawaz Dahani will not be available for Sunday’s match due to a suspected side strain sustained while bowling against Hong Kong, while Indian pacer Avesh Khan has fever and his fitness will be assessed on Sunday, while left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out of the tournament due to knee injury.

Vital blows

But both sides still possess quality bowling options with Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah the talk of the tournament after the 19-year-old struck vital blows against India in the previous encounter.

India coach Rahul Dravid feels that even India have a strong bowling attack and they are not worried about what Pakistan, instead focus on their own gameplan.

“Pakistan have a good bowling side but Indian pacers have also done well to restrict Pakistan to 147. You are judged by the results you produce. I respect Pakistan’s bowling, but I am confident we have a good bowling attack that produces results,” the former Indian captain said at a press conference on the eve of the game. Indian pacers accounted for all the 10 wickets of Pakistan in the Group A tie.

Pakistan pacer, Haris Rauf also feels confident while bowling in tandem with Naseem Shah, after missing his bowling partner Shaheen Afridi.

Feeling confident

“The way Naseem bowled in the last two matches, that has given me the confidence. Partnerships are important in bowling as well. I have been playing with Shaheen for a while. I used to be relaxed when Shaheen is around. But seeing Naseem, I am getting the situation I am comfortable to bowl in,” he said.

Both Rauf and Naseem suffered cramps during the team’s opener against India and are in top shape after a few days’ rest.

However, a challenge like India-Pakistan bring out the best in both teams and Dravid feels these games will provide the answers to the team’s future plans.

“The more you play these high-pressure matches, the better for the team. It gives a nice edge when you enter big tournaments like the World Cup,” he concluded.