India start their 2022 Asia Cup campaign with a match against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, August 28. For India, it will be an opportunity to avenge their 2021 T20 World Cup loss to Pakistan. The side had suffered a 10-wicket defeat at the hands of their Asian neighbours at the world event last year. On Sunday, the Rohit Sharma-led team will look to play its A game in a bid to win the high-octane clash.
It is worth noting that India’s Jasprit Bumrah misses the event due to injury and that gives other young and emerging pacers a chance to play a key role in India’s campaign at the event.
Meanwhile, a big dilemma for the team management will be the batting lineup. They will likely have to choose between Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik, although the two play different roles in the team.
Here is what we think could be India’s playing XI against Pakistan:
Rohit Sharma (captain): The Indian skipper is the second-best scorer in T20 Internationals (T20Is), being just 10 runs behind list-topper Martin Guptill.
KL Rahul: The batter returned from his injury in the Zimbabwe ODI series but failed to play any impactful knock with the bat. Against Pakistan, Rahul will try to play his best game.
Virat Kohli: The former India skipper is struggling with his form, both at international level and T20s. He must be eyeing a memorable comeback to form with an impactful knock against Pakistan.
Suryakumar Yadav: The batter remains India’s strength at the middle order. With his 360-degree range of shots, Suryakumar Yadav is a big threat for the Pakistan bowlers.
Rishabh Pant: The southpaw comes on the back of a so-so T20I series against the West Indies, but he can rip apart any bowling line-up on his day. Pant is likely to remain India’s first-choice wicketkeeper despite the presence of Dinesh Karthik in the squad.
Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder has evolved as a much more mature and better player over the recent years. Besides being a versatile batter, Hardik is also fit enough to bowl his quota of overs when needed and that makes him one of the best all-rounders in the world.
Ravindra Jadeja: The player is likely to make it to India’s playing XI, courtesy his all-round abilities and form. Jadeja can be handy as an explosive batter in slog overs besides providing some crucial breakthroughs to the team.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The off-spinner continues to fight for his place in the white-ball team and he will be eager to make the most of the Asia Cup, considering that the event will be followed by a T20 World Cup in October.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The leg-spinner continues to grow in confidence with every passing match. Chahal has been India’s trusted wicket-taker, who outplays even the best of batters quite easily.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Swing has been the biggest strength of the right-arm pacer. However, his additional quality of being economical with the old ball makes him a trust-worthy bowler for the slog overs as well.
Arshdeep Singh: The youngster is new to international cricket but the kind of composure and understanding of the game he possesses, that all makes him a class apart from other youngsters. Arshdeep must be keen to test his calmness under pressure situations during match against Pakistan.
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