The Indian team who are the seven-time champions will be locking horns with Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2023 campaign at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele on Saturday. The Men in Blue under the leadership of Rohit Sharma will be looking to outclass the Babar Azam-led side who is coming to play against India after registering a solid 238-run win over Nepal in the tournament opener.
Star India batter KL Rahul will not be available for the first two games of the Asia Cup as he is still recuperating from the niggle. Apart from him, all the Indian players are fit and a nail-biting thriller is expected between the two sides. Since the 2019 ODI World Cup in June at Old Trafford, the two sides have not played against each other in an ODI game. Team India have emerged victorious in their three ODIs against the Men in Green, and they would like to make it four wins in a row.
Talented young batter Shubman Gill is set to start the proceedings alongside Rohit Sharma. The Indian skipper has collected back-to-back centuries in his last two ODIS against Pakistan, and he will be eyeing a hat-trick of hundreds on Saturday.
All eyes will be on the former India skipper Virat Kohli who will bat at number 3. Shreyas Iyer who is fully fit is likely to take the number 4 spot, taking the middle-order onus on his shoulders. Since KL Rahul is not available, Ishan Kishan is expected to fill in the wicketkeeper’s slot and will bat at number 5 for the first time in his ODI career. Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur are the other options as a fast bowler but they are unlikely to get the nod over Bumrah, Shami, or Siraj.
India’s predicted playing XI for the match against Pakistan: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.