India and Pakistan lock horns for the Asia Cup opener

(Cricket news) India will take on Pakistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup. The game will played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both teams are missing two of their seamers as Pakistan will be without Shaheen Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr while India will be missing Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel. Pakistan comfortably defeated India the last time these two sides met at the World Cup. Things have changed since then and looking at India's form and the kind of cricket they have been playing it would safe to say that the men in blue are favourites. Pakistan however cannot be taken lightly as they have every thing needed to get the better of India in their cannon. 

India's possible playing XI:

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.


Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Avesh Khan, Ravi Bishnoi.

Leaving out Bishnoi and Karthik is going to be a tough decision but leaving out Pant and Ashwin wouldn't be too easy either. Apart from these two spots the other players basically pick themselves. India's top order needs to step up now because they haven't done so at the big stage in a while. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will be very important for the balance of the team. Both need to fire on all cylinders if India want to win the match and eventually the tournament.

Pakistan possible playing XI:

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani, Naseem Shah. 


Asif Ali, Usman Qadir, Mohammad Hasnain, Hasan Ali

Hasan Ali wasn't originally a part of the squad but has been added after an injury to Mohammad Wasim Jr. The opening pair of Azam and Rizwan will be extremely crucial for Pakistan. Shadab Khan will also play an important role with both bat and ball. Pakistan will be confident after their win last time out against India but at the same time they will also be aware of India's capabilities. 

India vs Pakistan is always a big occasion and this one won't be any different. It is the opening match and there will most likely be another match between the two in the Super 4 stage and potentially another one in the finals. Bhuvneshwar against Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan in the powerplay is going to be one battle to look out for. Rishabh Pant against Shadab Khan is another if it does happen. Whichever team wins this game will have a huge confidence booster for the rest of the tournament and subsequently in the T20  World Cup next year.

Also read: Does Dinesh Karthik fit into India's full strength T20 playing XI?


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