Kuala Lumpur, Jun 30: When India and Pakistan meet on a cricket field, it is always a high-voltage and eagerly anticipated clash. Whether it is at the senior or junior level, it is an extra motivation for the players on both sides to do well.
Come Sunday, July 1, we will witness yet another skirmish between the arch rivals. The Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur will be the setting for the latest edition of exchanges, though it is at the Under-19 level. It is the final of Under-19 Asia Cup 2012.
So far in this edition of Under-19 Asia Cup, Pakistan have been unbeaten. That should anoint them as favourites for the title decider on Sunday. But India's lone defeat in the tournament was against Pakistan, by just one run.
But the performances of Pakistan team have been far superior than India's. They have batted and bowled brilliantly.
Pakistan started off the tournament by crushing minnows Nepal by eight wickets. Then they met India and eked out a 1-run success despite a magnificent century by left-hander Vijay Zol. It was a last-over thriller.
Babar Azam-led side then thrashed hosts Malaysia by a mammoth 249-run margin.
Pakistan topped the four-team Group A standings and faced Afghanistan in the semi-finals. Their domination was on view again as they crushed Afghan hopes by 151 runs.
India began their campaign with a eight-wicket triumph over Malaysia before losing to Pakistan. The Unmukt Chand-captained legion successfully defended 176 in a rain-hit game against Nepal to earn a spot in second semi-final against Sri Lanka.
In the meeting against Sri Lanka, they chased down 245, thanks to a fine ton by Chand.
On current form in the tournament, both teams might appear strong. But Pakistan hold slight edge considering their showings in the previous matches. But that is no way discounting India's chances. They will have revenge on their mind.
This also a big opportunity for both countries' players to impress their respective national selectors.
In all, it could be an exciting contest on Sunday. Who will triumph?