India vs. Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 match is scheduled to take place on Sunday in Dubai. It would be fascinating to watch how both sides respond under duress. Saqlain Mushtaq, the head coach of Pakistan, spoke to the media on Thursday. He discussed the bowling attack and the message that is being sent by the now-viral photo of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam were seen talking during practice on Wednesday between the Indian and Pakistani cricket teams. The image is currently trending on social media. Babar supported Virat earlier this year when the cricketer was having a difficult time in England. “Some years back, I went to play an All-Star Game, there were top 25 cricketers of the world and we were playing together. Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne got everyone together, that time around, I had put out a tweet. That match was being followed by just Indian and Pakistan cricket fans in America. Both Indian and Pakistan fans had stitched together flags and they were displaying it in unison,” Saqlain said during a media interaction on Thursday.
“I had tweeted then that it is just not cricket and entertainment. It helps people understand so many things, it is bringing everyone together. When we play matches, emotions run high. But this game also helps in giving lessons about humanity. I think yesterday’s picture between Babar and Virat gives a good message,” he added. When further asked about whether Babar has helped in easing tension around an India-Pakistan game, Saqlain said: “It is entertainment, it is a sport. The emotions run high, but at the end of the day, it is a sport. We are trying to spread the message of love and kindness. That is why players from both countries mingle with each other.”
Due to an injury, ace sprinter, Shaheen Shah Afridi will not compete in the Asia Cup. It would be intriguing to observe how players like Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, and Haris Rauf fare. “For a very long time, these three (Naseem Shah, Mohammad Hasnain, and Haris) have been executing the plans and requirements of the Pakistan cricket team. The captain and I as head coach have full confidence in them. There is no need to worry, Shaheen used to lead the attack but unfortunately, he is not here because of injury. They can change the game on their day,” said Saqlain.