The cricketing world is buzzing in anticipation as Pakistan faces India in Asia Cup 2023 today. The encounter, the first of its kind since the 2019 World Cup, is set to unfold at the Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Sri Lanka. This face-off during the Asia Cup 2023 promises to be electrifying, replete with excitement and sporting enthusiasm.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, Pakistan, led by Babar Azam, harbours ambitions of outplaying their Indian counterparts. Their strategy revolves around deploying a top-notch bowling arsenal to counter India’s formidable batting lineup. The recent triumphant performance against Nepal in Multan, with Babar Azam’s scintillating 151-run inning, has only boosted their morale.
“We aim to maintain the momentum and intensify our performance. An India-Pakistan match always stokes emotions and expectations. We’re equally thrilled,” voiced an optimistic Babar.
India’s Batting Might vs. Pakistan’s Bowling Prowess
Rohit Sharma, donning the captain’s hat for India, lauded Pakistan’s impressive pace attack, especially singling out the talents of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf. However, he expressed confidence in his experienced batting cohort, which boasts names like Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, and himself.
In a light-hearted moment, Rohit remarked, “Though we don’t face Shaheen, Naseem, and Rauf during practice, we’re well-acquainted with their skills. Drawing from our extensive gameplay experience against Pakistan will be our strategy.”
Weather and External Factors: Potential Spoilers?
While both teams are gearing up strategically, there’s an external element that could play spoilsport – the weather. With rain forecast over the weekend in Kandy, interruptions loom during the match.
Pace Battles on Both Sides
The Indian bowling department welcomes back pace maestro Jasprit Bumrah after his injury hiatus. Along with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, India aims to counter the Pakistani quicks. When quizzed about comparing the pace bowlers from both sides, Rohit opined, “All these bowlers have showcased their mettle in international cricket. It’s a testament to their prowess.”
Political tensions mean these neighbours lock horns on the cricketing field only during international tournaments. Historically, India has had the upper hand in ODIs over the past decade. However, under Babar Azam’s leadership, Pakistan has recently clinched a few T20 wins.
Playing XI Lineup
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan (vc), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.