India will be locking horns against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2022 group fixture at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on August 28. Coincidentally, both teams would be renewing their rivalry at the very same venue where the Men in Green handed a humiliating 10-wicket defeat to India in the T20 World Cup last October. Just days ahead of the marquee clash, Rashid Latif has gone on to opine that the 10-wicket defeat against Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2021 has done a lot of damage to the Men in Blue and the Rohit Sharma-led side would be looking to make amends for it. At the same time, Latif also explained why Pakistan have an upper hand in the tournament. “I don’t think the World Cup would be in their (India’s) mind. They are taking it series by series, it’s worth noting that teams are changing with every series. Their focus will be on the Asia Cup. The loss against Pakistan caused a lot of damage to the Indian team, so they are trying to recover from it,” Latif said.
“You can play as many series as you want, but the match between India and Pakistan remains very important. I believe the Indian team, the board, the management will pay significant attention to the match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup. They would want to win the Asia Cup, and if all the players are available for India, they can be favorites”, he added. “The conditions in the UAE suit them. India will give their all in the game against Pakistan. They have dominated the clashes between both sides in the past 20 years, but Pakistan did win by 10 wickets in their last game. So the planning will go into it,” the ex-Pakistan skipper further added. Ever since their group stage exit from the T20 World Cup in Dubai, the Indian team have become a force to reckon with in the shortest format with coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma at the helm of affairs.
Since November last year, India have not lost a T20I series and they also showed impressive performances in England (2-1) and now are on the verge of winning the five-match series in the West Indies. The upcoming Asia Cup might see India and Pakistan meet on more than one occasion. After their group game on August 28, both teams could lock horns in the Super 4s on September 4 and in the final on the 11th should both teams make that far.