War in few hours..To 'beat'Modi, Imran will bat for Pak against India in Dubai

New Delhi, Sep 19: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is expected to watch his country's Asia Cup group league encounter against India Wednesday, according to media reports here. Imran, a legendary former Pakistan cricket captain, is also the patron-in chief of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

"Prime Minister Imran Khan will watch the Pakistan-India Asia Cup clash in Dubai on Wednesday, diplomatic sources said," GEO TV reported The Pakistan PM left for his first foreign visit to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The arch rivals are facing each other for the first time in the United Arab Emirates since 2006. Incidentally, Imran was the captain of Pakistan for the better part of the Indo-Pak duels in Sharjah from the mid 80's to early 90s.

The epic clash between two arch rivals India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup starts in few hours. Indians may not like it but the fact is that Pakistan are the clear favourites. In the Desert countries, Pakistan has always fared better as UAE has been almost a second home for Pakistanis.  

Here is a look at India, Pakistan statistics:
Played: 129

Won by India: 52

Won by Pakistan: 73

No result: 4

Asia Cup::

Played: 12

Won by India: 6

Won by Pakistan: 5

No result: 1

Overall in UAE:

Played: 26

Won by India: 7

Won by Pakistan: 19

India under the leadership of stand-in captain Rohit Sharma are the favourites along with Pakistan. The two traditional rivals are  grouped together in Group A.

India are the most successful team in the Asia Cup, having won six of the 13 editions of the tournament. But this time it will be an uphill task for the Indian players as they will miss the services of regular skipper Virat Kohli.

But on the pitches of Dubai where the spinners will get turn, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav should be a handful. Kedar Jadhav who is also making his comeback to the side could also support the spinning duo if the situation demands.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have won the tournament twice. The first time in 2000, when they beat Sri Lanka in the final, and then in 2012.

Fakhar Zaman with his disciplined batting is capable of turning a match with the support of Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfraz Ahmed.

Shadab Khan will be leading the spin department, while Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi will take care of the pace department.

News24 Bureau with Agency inputs