Cape Town - Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed says that every clash
against India is a massive game for his team whatever tournament it may come
India and Pakistan are joined in their group by minnows Hong
Kong and the peculiarity of scheduling for the tournament could see the Asian
giants meeting each other as many as four times in the brief ODI showpiece.
Pakistan will be looking to put Hong Kong to the sword to
build into their clash with India which could set the tone for the whole event.
"Every match against India is extremely important"
Sarfaraz said. "Momentum is very important, so we'll try to generate
momentum in the first game and go into the fixture against India thoroughly
Sarfaraz said that Pakistan's Champions Trophy final win
over India was now history and won't help them at all going forward.
He said: "That match is in the past. It was almost
one-and-a-half years ago. So I don't think we should consider it that much. All
professional teams put the past behind and look forward. Both teams will do the
The quickfire nature of the tournament means that Pakistan
cannot afford to underestimate any of their opponents in the 2018 edition of
the Asia Cup.
Sarfaraz added: "I've seen all the squads and they're
all very strong, no team can be taken lightly. Teams will have to play very
good cricket if they are to win the tournament."
Pakistan have the edge over their opponents give their
familiarity with the UAE which has hosted most of the Test nation's home
matches for the last nine years.
"The weather is hot, and it becomes difficult to bat in
humid conditions under lights because the fast bowlers get some swing,"
the 31-year-old said. "We will try to adjust to the conditions. We have
had two-three sessions under lights. Of course, every side will look to bat
first and put runs on the board due to the hot weather.
"Pitches are on the slower side in the UAE, so spinners
will have a crucial role to play. Our batsmen and bowlers have been in good
form. We will look to score more than 300 if we bat first because we possess a
bowling unit that can defend that total. We are not focusing on one area, we
will focus on all three aspects of the game and try to put a good show."