Asia Cup: More Questions Than Answers for India Ahead of Pakistan Clash


If all different issues on the earth had been regular, Wednesday’s match between India and Pakistan can be a lifeless rubber. Each groups have made it to the following spherical, and the place they end within the group stage does not matter as every of the 4 groups within the subsequent spherical performs one another as soon as anyway.However sadly, all different issues on the earth are usually not regular. And thus, no India – Pakistan match is anyplace near a dead-rubber, a minimum of for those who aren’t taking part in the precise match. The 2 groups will conflict for an assured two occasions – and doubtlessly thrice – within the event, nevertheless it’s the primary assembly that is all the time filled with hype and drama. For it is that match which breaks the usually lengthy hole between two India-Pakistan matches.

It means either side must convey out their A recreation and be at their finest. India did not try this towards Hong Kong on Tuesday and discover themselves underneath a bit extra stress to boost their recreation. India would have maybe considered Hong Kong as a mere formality, and will have even hoped to complete the sport as early as potential to increase their relaxation forward of the Pakistan recreation.

As an alternative, they had been made to play your entire 100 overs, with Hong Kong placing up a outstanding combat. There have been phases the place Hong Kong had been on prime, however did not have the expertise to transform these right into a victory. However though they misplaced, they ensured India left the sport with extra questions than solutions.

These questions will carry into the sport towards Pakistan. Who’re their center order batsmen? India managed simply 48 runs from their final 10 overs towards Hong Kong though they obtained a superb platform from Shikhar Dhawan, who made 127. Ending innings in ODIs has been a long-standing downside for India, with MS Dhoni now not the power-hitter he was, and the remaining not standing up.

To resolve that, India will virtually positively convey Hardik Pandya again. The all-rounder was rested for the Hong Kong recreation, having performed 4 of the 5 Assessments aside from the limited-overs sequence in England not too long ago.

India nonetheless have points of their bowling, as was evident towards Hong Kong, who had a gap stand price 174. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is simply coming back from an harm, and his effectiveness with the brand new ball with out swing has come underneath the scanner in latest occasions. Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed made a formidable debut, however Shardul Thakur hasn’t grabbed his probabilities.

Thakur will in all probability make approach for Jasprit Bumrah, however whose place will Pandya take? Kedhar Jadhav is only one match into his comeback from harm. Dinesh Karthik scored 33 at No. 4, a place India are attempting to fill with a everlasting choice. If India do not contact their batting mixture, they’re going to should take away certainly one of Khaleel or Bhuvneshwar to make approach for Pandya.

And what of KL Rahul? With Dhawan and Rohit Sharma settled, he’ll should take a spot within the prime order. However Ambati Rayudu scored 60 on comeback, and Rahul hasn’t executed a lot in positions under No. 3. There’s additionally Manish Pandey who would need to make a case for the middle-order positions. India must reply all these questions and determine their first XI earlier than moving into the following stage of the event.

However, Pakistan have seemed extra settled than they have been in the previous few years. In Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam and Shoaib Malik, they’ve stable batsmen, adopted by Sarfraz Ahmed. Their bowling is well-rounded and balanced, with Mohammad Amir, Usman Khan and Hassan Ali taking good care of the tempo division and Shadab Khan as a potent leg-spinning choice. Their bowling is so sturdy that they do not have a spot for Junaid Khan within the XI.

India skilled Pakistan’s bowling potent of their most up-to-date conflict – the Champions Trophy closing final June, when India had been shot out for simply 158. Pakistan scored 338 in that recreation, however the massive distinction since then is the emergence of two Indian spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

The wrist-spin duo has discovered success throughout and have given India wickets within the center overs. Pakistan’s batsmen are but to face them, and the way that battle pans out may effectively resolve the course of this large dead-rubber conflict.

India: Rohit Sharma(capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Okay Khaleel Ahmed.

Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shan Masood, Sarfraz Ahmed(capt), Shoaib Malik, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Junaid Khan, Usman Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Asif Ali, Mohammad Amir

First Printed: September 19, 2018, 12:30 PM IST


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