The mother of all battles between Pakistan and India is slated to take place in the 3rd match of the Asia Champions League 2023 at Pallekale International Cricket Stadium on 2nd September, Saturday. The cricketing world is set to witness the historic rivalry between two neighbouring countries. Pakistan and India are hot favourites to win the Asia Champions League. This will be the first encounter between two teams in a 50-over match since the 2019 ODI World Championship.

Pakistan kicked off their campaign on a good note, registering a 238-run win against qualifier Nepal in the opening match of the tournament, while India will look to open their account against their arch-rivals in the Asian Champion League on Saturday. The battle between Pakistan and India is expected to be nail-biting as they will look to take their rivalry to new heights.

Players to watch out for

M Rizwan (PAK): M. Rizwan has been one of the mainstays in Pakistan’s batting line-up over the last few years. A top-order batsman who can accelerate the innings and turn the game on its head. He had a decent outing in the opening match of the Asian Champion League, scoring 44 off 50 balls against Nepal. However, Pakistan will expect him to come up with goods against India. M. Rizwan is likely to pose a threat to India’s bowling line-up because of his ability not just to accelerate his innings but also to build a crucial partnership in a pressure situation. India’s bowling line-up will have their task cut out against Rizwan.

V Kohli (IND): V Kohli is expected to hog the limelight because of his intense battles against Pakistan in the past. He has been one of the top performers for India against Pakistan for over a decade. B Azam-led side is well aware of Kohli’s threat as he scored four half-centuries in the last five games against them. Kohli Last year, V Kohli produced a masterclass performance against Pakistan in the T20 World Championship. His performance was a testament to his class and ability to rise to big occasions. Kohli has been in sublime form since last year, which is a big positive for India. Pakistan’s bowling line-up will look to come up with a plan to encounter Kohli’s threat.

S Afridi (PAK): S Afridi is currently the backbone of Pakistan’s bowling line-up. His pace and ability to swing the ball in both ways can often make batsmen unplayable. In the opening match against Nepal, Afridi picked two wickets and conceded 27 runs at an economy rate of 5.40. Afridi will play his first ODI match against India since the 2018 Asia Champion League. Since S Afridi is back to full fitness after being sidelined since the T20 World Championship last year, Pakistan will be hoping for him to deliver his best against India. India’s batting line-up is expected to face a threat from S Afridi. The match-up between Afridi and Kohli is expected to make the contest more interesting.

R Jadeja (IND): R Jadeja is one of the best all-rounders India has ever produced. He has always delivered his best with the bat as well as the ball. Ever since his return from an injury lay-off, Jadeja has consistently performed well. R Jadeja is the leading wicket-taker among active players in the Asian Champion League ODI among active players, with 19 wickets in 14 matches. India is expected to rely on him for the all-round show, given his performance in recent months. R Jadeja can stabilize India’s middle order and take wickets in the middle overs. Pakistan is likely to face a big threat from R Jadeja in the upcoming match of the Asian Champion League.

Predicted Playing XI

PAK: F Zaman, I ul Haq, B Azam [C], M Rizwan, A Salman, I Ahmed, S Khan, M Nawaz, S Afridi, N Shah, H Rauf,

IND: S Gill, R Sharma [C], V Kohli, S Iyer, I Kishan [WK], H Pandya, R Jadeja, S Thakur, K Yadav, J Bumrah, M Siraj,

Fantasy Playing XI

Wicketkeeper: M Rizwan

Batsmen: R Sharma (C), F Zaman, V Kohli, B Azam, I Ahmed

All-rounder: R Jadeja

Bowlers: S Afridi (VC), K Yadav, N Shah, J Bumrah