It has always been special for the fans of either India and Pakistan when both the teams lock horns in a grand event. Meanwhile, the upcoming Asia Cup 2018 in the UAE will set the stage for yet another classic clash between the arch-rivals.
Meanwhile, India announced the 16-man squad without its run-machine Virat Kohli. However, they still got the required firepower in their unit to get the better off Pakistan during the tournament.
Here is India’s likely XI against Pakistan for the Asia Cup 2018 clash –
Openers – Shikhar Dhawan & Rohit Sharma
Unless any forced injury, India will probably go with their classic openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. They both have been pretty exceptional for India in the recent past and would once again shoulder the responsibility of delivering for the side.
Shikhar Dhawan has been a fantastic limited-overs batsman. However, he couldn’t fare well against England but the conditions in the UAE will the suit the opener better to do the job for the team.
Meanwhile, the skipper, Rohit Sharma should play with all his guns blazing. He hasn’t had a great record against Pakistan, but with the absence of Virat Kohli, he needs to step to the occasion on the day when the old foes meet.
KL Rahul will take Virat Kohli’s role:
Probably, KL Rahul will take Virat Kohl’s position during the Asia Cup 2018. He has been in a great nick as far as limited-overs are concerned. Indian team management will hope KL Rahul fill the shoes of Virat Kohli.
Of late, KL Rahul became a force to reckon in the limited-overs format. He continuously produced marathon knocks at the top-order by performing often than not. It is also the best chance for him to cement his place in the team.
Middle-order – Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav and MS Dhoni
The bulk amount of runs in the recently concluded Quadrangular series will give an edge for Manish Pandey to find the play at number four for India. He was exceptional in the recent tournament and earned his place proudly in the team. The form of Manish Pandey will push the team management a place for him.
Meanwhile, Kedar Jadhav is back in the team after a lengthy lay-off due to injury. However, he will directly push a place in the playing XI because of his bowling advantage.
As none of the top-order batsmen has the potential to roll their arms, India might pick him in the side ahead of Ambati Rayudu. Without any doubt, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will take the wicketkeeper’s glove and also bat in the middle-order. Don’t get wondered if he bats at number four, as Rohit Sharma always pushes MS Dhoni to bat up the order.
All-rounder – Hardik Pandya
The Baroda player will play a significant role for India in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018. His heroics against Pakistan in the ICC Champions trophy 2017 will undoubtedly make him the cynosure of the eyes for either team fans.
Though Hardik Pandya has a lean patch with the bat in Test cricket, he is always a dangerous customer when it comes to the shorter version of the game.
Spin duo – Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav
Will India take the risk of dropping them in the ODI team? Especially, with the UAE pitches helping the spinners, the wristy duo will be the chief weapons for India in the Asia Cup 2018.
They both will draw a lot of attention from the spectators throughout the tournament due to their incredible success in the recent past. Both of them will hold the key for India’s chances to win the trophy as well.
Fast Bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar
It has been a long time since watching the duo playing in the same team. One or the other are warming the bench due to the fitness concerns. However, both will be at their best in fitness when Asia Cup 2018 set to hold.
Indian team management will go with Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar for the game against Pakistan. Unless any forced injuries, they both will share the new ball for the team against Pakistan.
Here is the final India’s XI:
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar