Tempers flare, sparks fly and TRPs go all-time high. That's the magic of an India-Pakistan match. On Sunday, after a long lull, the two estranged neighbours are set to play against each other in the ongoing Asia Cup in Bangladesh. The most-sought-after cricket contest has been a victim of political disputes with Pakistan remaining a no-go zone for international cricket after the touring Sri Lankan team was attacked by some miscreants in 2009.
The heat on the political front of India and Pakistan has got into cricket as well, with the two countries facing each other in only five ODIs and three T20s since their World Cup semifinal in 2011. However, India enjoy a small advantage going into the 12th Asia Cup battle against Pakistan. Of the nine completed games, India have won five while Pakistan won four.
The same goes when it comes to major international championships. Though Pakistan holds an upper hand when it comes to the number of matches won—both in Tests and ODIs—when it comes to major championship titles, it can’t match India. In the limited overs’ World Cup, India have won all the matches played between the two countries, leading the tally 8-0.
However, it is different this time as several star performers from India who have played in the previous face-offs have either retired or are injured. With Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni not playing, the team's responsibility is on the young blood like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, among others. With Pakistan defending its Asia Cup title this year, let's take a look at the Indian players who can make a difference in this battle for Asian supremacy.