India and Pakistan have faced each other 12 times in the Asia Cup [Aijaz Rahi/AP]
Head to Head
Over all ODI wins: Pakistan 73 v India 52
Asia Cup wins: Pakistan 5 v India 6
Wins in UAE: Pakistan 19 v India 7
The sub-continent neighbours resumed their rivalry in a group A match at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday in front of a capacity crowd.
The game is the first between the two teams since Pakistan thumped India by 180 runs in the final of Champions Trophy at London’s Oval in June last year.
“There’s always pressure in India-Pakistan games. We’ve told our players, not just this game, consider every match as an India-Pakistan game if you want to win the event,” said Sarfraz Ahmed, Pakistani captain, before the match.
“There’s pressure, but we’re trying to not let it affect us, and perform well,” he added.
Defending champions India are coming into the match at the back of a disappointing series loss to England and without regular captain Virat Kohli, who is sitting out the six-nation event with a back injury.
Rohit Sharma, who is leading the Indian side, said he was “slightly nervous, but excited” to be the captain.
“This is a big tournament for me…I am looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
Tickets for the match were officially sold out two days before the much-awaited encounter, the tournament organisers said.
The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is seen as the biggest in the sport, with matches often getting heated.
The two nations have fought three wars since gaining independence from British rule in 1947.
On the cricket field, the two sides have played a total of 194 matches.
Ahead of the big game on Wednesday, fans, celebrities, and athletes from both sides of the border took to Twitter to wish their team luck.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 18, 2018
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) September 19, 2018
— SAWQIB10 (@SAWQIB10) September 19, 2018
— TAMANNA PRIYASHREE (@TPPCHL) September 19, 2018
How we see Indian team
— Parvesh verma (@parveshverma16) September 19, 2018
This collision is not only cricket but also our emotions. Here’s not only cricket but politics also will be played in the field. #INDvPAK #AsiaCup2018 #AsiaCup #IndiavsPakistan #CricketMeriJaan @ImRo45 @BCCI @TheRealPCB pic.twitter.com/73iJBXBxEX
— Pt. Sarvesh Mishra (@ImMishra4444) September 19, 2018
Meanwhile, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza, who is expecting her first child with husband and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, said she will be logging off social media for a few days to avoid the trolls.
“Soo less than 24 hours to go for this match, safe to sign out of social media for a few days since the amount of nonsense that is going to be said here can make a ‘regular’ person sick, let alone a pregnant one. Later guys! Knock yourselves out! BUT remember ITS ONLY A CRICKET MATCH! Toodles!,” she wrote on Twitter.
Soo less than 24hrs to go for this match,safe to sign out of social media for a few days since the amount of nonsense thts gonna b said here can make a ‘regular’ person sick ,let alone a pregnant one🙄Later guys!Knock yourselves out!BUT remember-ITS ONLY A CRICKET MATCH! Toodles!
— Sania Mirza (@MirzaSania) September 18, 2018
The match began at 11.30GMT (3.30pm local time), with gates opening an hour and a half earlier than usual.
Both sides won their opening group match against Hong Kong.
The Asia Cup, which takes place every two years, kicked off on Sunday, and the final will be played in Dubai on September 28.