So far Asia Cup has been played in the 50 over format and of the 11 times these teams have faced each other, the win loss ratio is equal © Getty Images
So far Asia Cup has been played in the 50 over format and of the 11 times these teams have faced each other, the win loss ratio is equal © Getty Images

India take on arch rivals Pakistan in the fourth match of the Asia Cup 2016 on Saturday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka. India have already faced the hosts Bangladesh in the inaugural fixture of the this edition of Asia Cup Twenty20 (T20), which  involve cricketing nations of the Asian continent. They triumphed over them registering first victory of the tournament while Pakistan will play their first match of the same with neighbours India. So far Asia Cup has been played in the 50 over format and of the 11 times these teams have faced each other, the win loss ratio is equal with both winning 5 matches while one was wash out. The February 27 fixture will decide which of the neighbours will take the lead in the Asia Cup win-loss count. For the ever-exciting competition between India and Pakistan, Paulami Chakraborty lists the XI players that Pakistan may go with in their crucial series opener. Live Cricket Scorecard, India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016 4th Match at Mirpur,Dhaka

Top-order: With Mohammad Shahzad being dropped from the tournament, Pakistan opening position is at a void which is to be filled along-side their dependable right-hand batsman Mohammad Hafeez. Hafeez has been quite consistent in the 2015-16 season for Pakistan in Twenty20 International (T20Is) as an opener and is sure to do the same. He will be supported well by Sharjeel Khan. Sharjeel has performed tremendously well in the recently concluded Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he emerged as the third highest run-getter with 299 runs from 11 matches, including a 62-ball 117. With an able opening pair that has the left-right combination right, Pakistan skipper Shahid Afridi may go with Khurram Manzoor. Manzoor has also been quite consistent in the T20s recently, scoring good runs in the domestic T20 cup. With three in-form batsmen, the top-order looks well settled. READ: India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016, 4th T20I at Mirpur: Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Aamer and other Key Battles

Middle-order: At No.4, it will be Shoaib Malik who can come out for his side. Malik is experienced and can take up responsibilities to play sensible cricket in a situation of an unwanted top-order collapse and is comfortable playing at that position, hence must not be disturbed, while Umar Akmal, who is generally sent out at No. 6, can be sent one step up at No. 5 looking at his current form. Akmal emerged as the highest run-getter in the PSL with 335 runs from the 7 matches he played and can make equations change with his power-packed batting. To give him a good support, Afridi himself can come after him, sending wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz Ahmed at No. 7. Afridi is still one of the dependable slog-hitters who can play quick-fire innings with the help of maximums and fours to add the crucial 15+ extra runs that make a huge difference in this format of cricket while Sarfraz can come lower down to stay there till the end to hold the innings together for the tail-enders.

Bowling: The green-top Mirpur pitch proved to be fruitful for the pacers in the initial few overs for Bangladesh against India and keeping that in mind, Pakistan will surely opt for their most talented pacers in the squad. That is where Mohammad Aamer, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Sami can come in handy for the side. Wahab Riaz has been one of the most dependable pacers for Pakistan for the past couple of years and was the highest wicket-taker from Pakistan in PSL, while Aamer and Sami has been out of action for quite long span and it will be interesting to see how lethal they prove to be. For the spin department, they can go for Mohammad Nawaz, the third highest wicket-taker of PSL while Shahid Afridi can bowl full 4 overs and has the ability to scalp crucial wickets, while Shoaib Malik can be tried for a over or two.

Pakistan likely XI: Mohammad Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (c), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Aamer, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Sami.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)