Dubai, Aug 24: Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson is of the view that whoever emerges as the winner of the India-Pakistan clash in the upcoming Asia Cup on August 28 will also win the competition.
Sunday’s clash at Dubai will see the resumption of the ‘greatest rivalry’ in the world of cricket when India and Pakistan open their Asia Cup Group A campaign. This will also be the first meeting between these two teams after facing off in the Men’s T20 World Cup last year in the UAE, where Pakistan secured a 10-wicket victory over India, their first such win in Men’s World Cups.
“That first game is going to be very special to watch because Pakistan have full belief now that they can beat this Indian team. I think, really, whoever wins that game is going to go on and win the Asia Cup,” said Watson on The ICC Review show.
Watson went on to say that he’s got a strong feeling of India winning the tournament. “(But) I’ve just got a feeling India (will win the tournament). They’ve got so much firepower all the way through their batting order, so it’s going to be hard to be able to contain them.”
India have won 19 of the 24 T20Is since crashing out in Super 10 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup last year, and have thrived with a new batting approach under captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid.
“My predicted winner is India (referring to current form). They’re so strong and depending on what the conditions are, they can just adapt to conditions. So I think India (will win Asia Cup),” added Watson.
At the same time, Watson was quick in not ruling out Pakistan’s chances of winning the much-anticipated clash on August 28. “I’m sitting on the fence a little bit! But I think Pakistan have a chance to win that game because of the confidence they’d have got out of winning for the first time in a long time against India.”
“Their confidence is going to be flying high. India are hard to contain, especially their batting in particular. But Pakistan, and as I’ve always known playing against them, when their confidence is high, they’re nearly unstoppable. And their confidence is high now that they know they can beat India in a big tournament.”