According to the recently released schedule of Asia Cup 2018, the Indian cricket team will face off against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 19, which is the day after India will play their opening game of Asia Cup on September 18 against a qualifier team which is yet to be decided.
Former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag has slammed the poor scheduling of the Asia Cup, by saying that Pakistan will get an advantage over India in the clash as it will enter the game, fresh and well rested.
“I am really shocked to see the scheduling. Which country plays back-to-back cricket matches these days? There was a gap of two days between the T20 matches in England and here you are playing ODIs under hot Dubai weather and that too without a break. So, I don’t think this is a correct scheduling,” Sehwag told India TV on Tuesday.
Sehwag even went on to say that when there is such a major problem with the scheduling, India should pull-out from the tournament. “Why there’s such hue and cry over playing the Asia Cup? Don’t play the Asia Cup. Prepare the team for the home series or the away series. It’s really difficult to play back-to-back games,” he said.
He said that as the tournament will take place in Dubai in September, the warm conditions will affect the players’ recovery process. Pakistan will be well rested but the Indian players will be tired after their opening game.
Sehwag, who has played 251 ODI matches for India, said that there shouldn’t be back-to-back matches and explained how much recovery time is necessary for the players after an ODI game.
“A player needs at least 48 hours to recover after playing an ODI match because you field for 3.5 hours and after that if you bat for 2 hours then it makes your total time spent on the ground to 5.5 hours. So, it takes a minimum of 24 to 48 hours for a player to recover,” he said.
India’s opening game on September 18 would be against one of the teams that qualifies from UAE, Singapore, Oman, Nepal, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
The clash between India and Pakistan is something which all fans look forward to and brings the entire nation together. They last faced each other, in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy last year where Pakistan convincingly defeated India to win the title for the first time. Kohli’s men would be looking to avenge that defeat by preparing themselves well for the high-profile encounter.