India and Pakistan last played each other in the ICC World Cup 2015 © PTI
India and Pakistan last played each other in the ICC World Cup 2015 © PTI

India are set to take on Pakistan for the first time since ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 when the two sides take field in Match 4 of Asia Cup T20 2016 at Dhaka on Saturday. India are firm favourites to win Asia Cup 2016, having comprehensively defeated hosts Bangladesh in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) of the tournament. India have been in prime form in recent times, whitewashing Australia 3-0 in the T20I series Down Under and then coming back from a 0-1 score line to defeat Sri Lanka 2-1 in their recent series in India. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup T20 2016 Match 4 at Dhaka

India have immense batting firepower with Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli being in sensational form this year. Rohit scored a spending 83 in the opening encounter which helped India get to a match-winning total. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh have been in decent nick as well, while MS Dhoni has been getting a few big hits lower down the order. However, it has been the unheralded Hardik Pandya to emerge with flying colours in his last couple of innings. Pandya is showing the ability to score invaluable quick runs at the death. His powerful wristwork and wide range of shots means that India have a reliable lower-middle order. READ: India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup 2016, 4th T20I at Mirpur: Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Aamer and other Key Battles

As for the bowling, Ravichandran Ashwin continues going from strength to strength. He and Ravindra Jadeja can be relied on to bowl a few quiet overs while also taking key wickets. Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah are proving themselves with both new ball and old. The role of the fifth bowler is being shared by Pandya, Yuvraj, and Raina with aplomb, which gives India a tremendously well-rounded look. READ: Asia Cup 2016: Pakistan’s inability to perform in big tournaments against India may continue

On the other hand, Pakistan are an unpredictable side who can surprise anyone on their day. The recent Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2016 was a success as well, with a number of their players showing good form. Led by the evergreen Shahid Afridi, Pakistan have a terrific bowling line-up with names such as Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Aamer, Wahab Riaz, and Anwar Ali in the line-up. Pakistan have a dependable batting order as well, led by Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, and the impressive Sharjeel Khan. READ: India vs Pakistan, Asia Cup T20 2016, 4th match: Likely XI for India

Given the popularity of the contest and the context of this encounter, the match promises to be a thrilling encounter between two fine cricket teams. India hold the advantage going into the match, but Pakistan will be rearing to avenge their defeat at ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The arch rivals will battle it out in a much-awaited Asia Cup bout.

Squads:

India: MS Dhoni (c&wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashish Nehra, Ajinkya Rahane, Parthiv Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harbhajan Singh.

Pakistan: Shahid Afridi (c), Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammed Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Umar Akmal, Shoaib Malik, Mohamed Irfan, Mohammed Sami, Wahab Riaz, Anwar Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imaad Wasim, Mohammad Aamer, Khurram Manzoor, Mohammed Nawaz.

Time: 19:00 IST | 13:30 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)