The much-awaited moment when India locks horns with Pakistan is just a day away. The arch-rivals are scheduled to collide on the second match day of the Asia Cup on Sunday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. As the epic clash is coming near, there have been many speculations made by the former cricketers and experts ahead of the encounter.
Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer has picked his starting XI for the high-profile Asia Cup 2022 clash. He has selected skipper Rohit Sharma and vice-captain KL Rahul to open the innings. The veteran batter has slotted India’s superstar batter Virat Kohli at number three.
The multiple-time Ranji Trophy-winning player picked the in-form Suryakumar Yadav for the number four position, followed by all-rounder Hardik Pandya. Jaffer has slotted Ravindra Jadeja at No.7 but the veteran has been uncertain about who to play between Rishab Pant and Dinesh Karthik as the wicketkeeper. Also, the 44-year-old has mentioned that if Pant gets a chance to play, the wicketkeeper-batter should play at No.5.
When it comes to the bowlers, Jaffer has Bhuvneshwar Kumar and left-arm Arshdeep Singh as pacers and has gone in with two proper spinners in the form of Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal. Selecting this bowling lineup means that there is no place for Avesh Khan and veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in Jaffer’s playing XI.
The last time the two arch-rivals faced each other was in the last year’s T20 World Cup. The Babar-led side stood tall on that occasion as they thumped India by 10 wickets. It was in fact, Pakistan’s first-ever win over India in a World Cup fixture. The Rohit-led side would like to take payback for this humiliating loss when they take the field on Sunday.
Here is Wasim Jaffer’s Playing XI
My India XI vs Pakistan:
6. DK / Pant*
*If Pant plays, he should bat at no.5.
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 27, 2022
Both teams have been rocked by injury concerns in the build to the tournament, more so Pakistan. India lost Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel to injury but these unavailabilities were mentioned at the time of announcing the squad. The Men in Green, on the other hand, lost spearhead Shaheen Afridi due to a knee injury, and just a few days before the start of the Asia Cup lost Mohammad Wasim because of a side strain.
India had an edge over Pakistan in the Asia Cup. The Men in Blue have won eight of the 14 matches played against Pakistan. Also in their last six battles in the multi-nation tournament, India has been defeated just once.