Match: India v Pakistan, final
Date: 30 October, Sunday
Time: 8:30pm SGT/6pm IST/1:30pm BST/6.00 pm IST
Competition: Asian Hockey Champions Trophy 2016
Venue: Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Kuantan, capital of Pahang state in Malaysia
TV Channel: In Singapore, the live TV coverage of the final clash between India and Pakistan will be on Fox Sports 2.
Live Streaming: Hotstar
Arch rivals India and Pakistan will face off against each other in the final of the 2016 Asian Hockey Champions Trophy at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium in Kuantan, Malaysia, on Sunday, 30 October.
The sub-continental rivals with cult fan following earned their berth in the final by defeating their semi-final opponents in enthralling penalty shootouts. While India defeated a gritty South Korean side 5-4 in the penalty shootout, Pakistan got the better of host nation Malaysia 3-2 after both sides were even at 1-1 at the end of regular time.
There is too much at stake for both the teams on Sunday – history, records, a regional rivalry that has taken on emotional hues. The sub-continental hockey legacy was carried on by India and Pakistan after the formation of India and Pakistan in 1947. Of the total number of 164 matches played between the two sides at various championships and Test series, Pakistan has the upper hand with 82 wins, while India won 52 matches.
While the win-loss ratio is tilted in favour of Pakistan, Indian fans will take heart from the fact that that's more so over the long run. In recent years, India has made up for the miserable past record against Pakistan and brought the tally to an even keel if not claiming dominance in one of the most celebrated sporting rivalries.
Pakistan have an edge over India when it comes to the outcome in championship finals played between them, including Olympics and Asia Cup Hockey. However, since 2010, the two sides played each other 26 times and India have a clear history of dominating their rival with 11 wisn, while Pakistan won 8 matches.
In Asian Hockey Champion Trophy as well, India hold the edge with a 5-3 win rate. Their latest match last week, in the current championship, was won by India as well.
However, India and Pakistan will not think too much about past records as they meet once again in a championship final set against the backdrop of the ever worsening border conflict between the two countries over Kashmir.
PR Sreejesh-led India side, playing to a domestic gallery fired up by the Diwali celebrations, will pull out all stops to deny their arch rivals a win against them on Sunday. The side will like it that Sardar Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Akashdeep and Rupinder Pal Singh and Talwinder Singh are all in top form.
On the other side, Pakistan forced a win over a fighting Malaysian side, avenging their league defeat by the hosts in the process. The sides leveled 1-1 as regular play ended but in the penalty Pakistan held nerve to deny the hosts a final berth.
For Pakistan, the big take away from the game that went to the wire is that they could shake off some concerns over the defensive weakness that was exposed in the group stages. India will have immense confidence from the fact that they got back to free scoring while also being able to hold nerve in the penalty shootout.
The bust-up between the Asian giants will be eagerly watched across the continent and set the tone for the upcoming 2017 Asia Cup, the championship which is also a stage for picking the continental World Cup qualifiers.
India: Star Sports 4
Malaysia: Fox Sports
Singapore: Fox Sports 2