The much-awaited India vs Pakistan clash in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 is just a day away from us as the match is slated to take place on September 2. Pakistan started their Asia Cup 2203 campaign with a solid win over Nepal. Team India open the other hand reached Sri Lanka after an intense preparatory camp in Banglore. Since the high-octane clash is just a day away from us, take a look at the players of both teams who can create an impact:
Virat Kohli is regarded as one of the greatest batters India has ever produced. Talking about his record against Pakistan, he has good numbers against the arch-rivals in ODIs. Kohli has played 13 matches against Pakistan and has scored 536 runs at an average of 48.72 with two centuries and as many half-centuries. Notably, he has only taken part in three ODIs against Pakistan since then in which he has scored 81 not out, 5 and 77.
The Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has gathered 720 runs in the 16 matches that he has played against Pakistan in the ODI format with the help of two centuries and six half-centuries. In his last match against Pakistan, Rohit hammered 140 in 113 balls in the 2019 World Cup fixture, the second of five hundreds he would make in that tournament as India defeated Pakistan by 89 runs via the DLS method.
India’s bowling leader Jasprit Bumrah made a comeback to the Indian team after a long injury hiatus. The last he played an ODI game for India was back on July 14, 2022, where he took two wickets but India went on to lose to England by 100 runs. But then he made a terrific comeback in the three-match T20I series against Ireland. Bumrah has taken part in just five ODIs against Pakistan and has picked up four wickets.
The absence of KL Rahul in the first two matches is confirmed and therefore Ishan Kishan is likely to get a nod in the playing XI. Kishan had a great series against the West Indies where he scored a hat-trick of half-centuries. He has the ability to make quick runs and also the batting order does not matter. He can tonk the ball hard if he opens or he comes to bat at any given order.
Shubman Gill has cemented his spot as skipper Rohit’s opening partner on the back of his consistent performances. He collected a double century and a century in back-to-back games against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. It is still not sure where Gill will open or come in at number 3 but then the kind of talent he has, he can make runs regardless of where he comes in to bat.
Pakistan’s skipper Babar Azam has cemented himself as one of the most talented batters of his generation. Against India, Babar has played 5 games so far where he scored just 158 runs at an average of 31.60 with no half-centuries, let alone centuries. But then one cannot ignore his numbers in ODI cricket as he has amassed 5202 runs in 103 ODIs at a remarkable average of 58.44 with the help of 18 centuries, and 28 half-centuries. He also started the Asia Cup 2023 campaign on a high, scoring 151 off 131 balls against Nepal.
Pakistan team has managed to get a solid replacement for Mohammad Amir in the form of Shaheen Afridi. During the 2021 T20 World Cup, he showed why he is considered as one of the top left-arm pacers in the world. Afridi came in and dismissed Rohit Sharma in just the fourth ball of the match and then he snared KL Rahul in the next over. All eyes will be on him when he comes in to bowl against Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
Pakistan’s young pacer Naseem Shah is yet to play a game against India in ODI format. Shah however had played against India three times last year, putting up ordinary performances with the ball. During last year’s Asia Cup, he scalped crucial wickets of KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav. So far in his career, Naseem has played only 10 ODIs where he has two five-wicket hauls to his name, one of which came against New Zealand in Rawalpindi.
Haris Rauf is the most lethal bowler in the current Pakistan’s bowling lineup. With an ability to bowl at a fiery pace, he has become Pakistan’s integral part in limited overs cricket. Rauf is yet to play a 50-over game against India however he has played in four T20I matches against the Men in Blue where he has scalped four wickets and averaged just 33.50, thus proving to be a dangerous customer to score off.
One of the most talented left-hand batters Pakistan has ever seen. Zaman has played in four matches against India where he made 207 runs at an average of 51.75. Considering his recent form, he can be a threat to the Indian team. Fakhar collected three consecutive centuries against New Zealand when Pakistan hosted them in April this year.