The anticipation surrounding Saturday's India-Pakistan Champions Trophy clash has proved that the cricketing rivalry between these two nations is even bigger than the Ashes, feels former pacer Aaqib Javed.
"The Ashes are big but not bigger than Pakistan and India matches nothing matches the excitement, intensity or atmosphere seen in our matches," Aaqib, who is now head coach at the National cricket Academy in Lahore, told PTI.
"Whenever Pakistan and India play after a gap the intensity and excitement level reaches sky high. In recent years when we were playing regularly the intensity had gone down but now everyone is looking to Saturday and I can predict there will be mostly empty roads in both countries during the match," he added.
Aaqib felt the toss would play a vital role in deciding the outcome of the match.
"The toss would be vital. Because batting second under lights at Centurion is never easy and I would advise Pakistan to bat first if they win the toss keeping in mind the relative strengths of both sides," he said.
Aaqib had no doubt that India would miss the services of Virender Sehwag and now Yuvraj Singh.
"Yuvraj is a match finisher for them. They will miss him because whenever India is under pressure he has the ability to score runs and that is a big thing," he said.