Former Indian all-rounder Sanjay Bangar has weighed in on the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 Super Four clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, asserting that India possesses a seam-bowling attack that can rival Pakistan's and create problems for the opposition in Sri Lankan conditions.
Scheduled for Sunday, September 10, in Colombo, this high-stakes encounter comes after the Group A match between the two cricketing powerhouses was abandoned due to rain, preventing Pakistan from beginning their run chase.
Speaking during a discussion on Star Sports, Bangar was asked to share his thoughts on India's ability to tackle Pakistan's pacers in Colombo.
His response emphasized the strength of India's fast-bowling contingent: “India's fast-bowling attack is as good as Pakistan's fast-bowling attack. You have Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah. Even if you look man to man, we are equally as good an attack as the Pakistani attack is.”
Bangar's confidence in India's bowling arsenal stems from their impressive seamers, including Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami. However, it's unlikely that all three will play together. Instead, India is expected to deploy Shardul Thakur as the third frontline seamer to bolster their batting lineup.
Reflecting on the previous encounter between the two sides, Bangar emphasized the challenge of chasing a target of around 260 or 270 on a surface that favored bowlers.
He commented, “Believe me, on that surface when India had set up a score of around 260 or 270, that would have been a challenging task for the Pakistani batters as well because the wicket was doing a bit.”
Pakistan could face problems on Sri Lankan decks in Asia Cup 2023
Bangar also pointed out that the Sri Lankan pitches could offer support to both India and Pakistan's bowling attacks.
He noted, “Now that Pakistan is moving out of their home conditions, wherein those are batting-friendly conditions, there will be certain wickets in Sri Lanka which are going to assist both types of bowlers.”
Additionally, Bangar highlighted a potential difficulty for Pakistan's batsmen on the Sri Lankan tracks, mentioning the lack of pace and the tendency of the ball to hold onto the surface. This could disrupt the rhythm of Pakistan's batters, who are accustomed to playing with a certain style, possibly causing their run-scoring rate to decrease.
As the Asia Cup 2023 progresses, it's crucial to note that Pakistan has not yet batted in Sri Lanka during this tournament. Their innings against India was washed out by rain, and their other two games were played on home turf.
Cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly anticipate the Super Four showdown between India and Pakistan, as it promises to be a thrilling contest between two cricketing giants, with both teams boasting formidable seam-bowling lineups ready to shine in the challenging Sri Lankan conditions.
The Asia Cup 2023 clash on September 10 is sure to be a spectacle that captivates fans and adds another chapter to the storied rivalry between these two nations on the cricket field.