After a span of 12 years, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be clashing in an ODI in UAE. The frostiness between the two nations has grown to a level where the two teams no longer play country matches, just tournaments arranged by ICC and Asia Cup only.
The fifth match of the Asia Cup 2018, pits Rohit Sharma’s men in blue against Sarfraz Ahmed’s men in green. Since ICC Champions Trophy 2017, this is the first time the two teams will be locking horns.
We all remember the day, India lost against Pakistan by 180 runs at the Oval, nothing much has changed in the Pakistan squad. In the Indian team, the absence of skipper Virat Kohli is the biggest change as he is provided rest ahead of Australia series.
India will need someone to fill in at the no.3 position to help Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan given the fact middle order woes is causing the team dearly. Pakistan on the other side has a vast experience of playing in UAE, it’s a home away from home for them. The opening pair of Fazhar Zaman and Imam-ul-Haq combined with the spin attack of Shadab Khan, makes Pakistan a hard to tackle opponents for India.
As for India a narrow escape against the Hong Kong on Tuesday that highlights the shortcoming in the batting order to get enough runs. Even with a score of 285, India had a hard time containing Hong Kong. But on the bright side, the team has the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, both of whom has taken care of the Indian side since the Champions Trophy. As R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja are not part of the team, the new duo promise of plenty against Pakistan.
For changes, Shardul Thakur is almost certain to be dropped for his 0 for 41 in four overs against Hong Kong. In his place, Hardik Pandya or Jasprit Bumrah can be in the team. Given his batting skills, Hardik Pandya can be the one to be picked to face Pakistan’s bowlers.
In Pakistan squad, left-arm pacer Usman Khan who got injured in the match against Hong Kong is fit to play in today’s game.
1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma (capt), 3 Ambati Rayudu, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav,7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Khaleel Ahmed
1 Imam-ul-Haq, 2 Fakhar Zaman, 3 Babar Azam, 4 Shoaib Malik, 5 Safraz Ahmed (capt/wk), 6 Asif Ali, 7 Shadad Khan, 8 Faheem Ashraf, 9 Mohammad Amir, 10 Hasan Ali, 11 Usman Khan