Former India player turned veteran commentator Aakash Chopra has highlighted that the Asia Cup has never seen an India-Pakistan final despite them being two of the most favourite teams to win the continent. However, India have already reached the final of the ongoing tournament. Pakistan now need to beat Sri Lanka in their last Super Four game in Colombo on Thursday (September 14) to reach the final against their arch-rivals as well.
While previewing Thursday’s game in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra said: “If we see today’s match, it has become a straight shoot-out. The big thing is that this tournament’s history says that it won’t allow an India-Pakistan final even though you might try your best. Who did you keep in your group – Nepal. You made only two teams to go out from the six and then wanted to play in the Super Four and the final as well. So it seems like it’s an India-Pakistan tournament. Only India-Pakistan gets a reserve day as well, no one else gets it.”
However, Aakash Chopra also recalled Shoaib Akhtar telling him at the start of the tournament that the Asia Cup was theirs and Pakistan would beat India in the World Cup also. And, the veteran stated that things haven’t worked as per plans so far, highlighting the fact that Pakistan will be knocked out because of their inferior net run rate even if rain plays spoilsport.
“They have got injuries as well. Neither Haris Rauf nor Naseem Shah is available. So you will see a spinner playing and I will want you to play spin on this pitch in any case. Play Mohammad Nawaz although Faheem Ashraf might play because the captain likes him, but I don’t think he is a very penetrative bowler. We will see Mohammad Wasim Jr and Shaheen Shah Afridi. I feel if Pakistan are unable to dismiss Sri Lanka’s top three like India did, they will lose this match. Firstly, win the toss and bat first. If you opt to bowl first after winning the toss, you will lose in any case,” Aakash Chopra concluded.