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India vs Pakistan: Predicted XI of both the teams for the Asia Cup 2018 clash
- Updated: September 17, 2018
One of the main attractions of the ongoing Asia Cup 2018 is the match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. In all likelihood, both these teams will be facing each other thrice in the tournament (once in the group stage, once in Super Four and once in the final) and the first clash between them will be taking place at the Dubai international stadium in Dubai on September 19.
The winner of this match will be topping the group provided India getting the better of Hong Kong a day before the Indo-Pak clash. Though the position in the group stage doesn't matter as both the teams will have to start from the scratch in the Super Fours, both India and Pakistan will look to play out of their skin and get the bragging rights over the opposition.
Let us take a look at how both the teams will line-up for the third and final Group A clash.
Pakistan are the pre-tournament favourites and will look to live up to the tag by beating India. They are expected to go in with their first-choice starting XI for the all-important clash.
Fakhar Zaman, who made India pay in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final, will open the batting with Imam-ul-Haq and this opening combination has been quite successful for the Men in Green of late.
Following Fakhar and Imam will be Pakistan's Mr. consistent Babar Azam at number 3, veteran batsman Shoaib Malik at 4 and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed at 5. Hard-hitting all-rounder Asif Ali will bat at number 6 and will finish off the middle-order.
The presence of two quality all-rounders in Shadab Khan and Faheem Ashraf will give a lot of balance to the side. The fast bowling will be spearheaded by Mohammad Amir, who went wicketless against Hong Kong and will have Hasan Ali, who is capable of running through any opposition with the older ball.
Man of the Match in the game against Hong Kong, Usman Khan Shinwari limped off the field in the game but he is likely to be fit to take part in the game against India. If he fails to recover in time for the clash, which is unlikely, experienced fast bowler Junaid Khan is expected to take his place in the side.
Pakistan XI to face India: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Asif Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Usman Khan.
India, on the other hand, will be playing two back-to-back matches as they play Hong Kong in their first match of the tournament a day before the Indo-Pak clash. Though Rohit Sharma's men are expected to go in with a second-string side for the Hong Kong clash to keep the players fresh for the Pakistan clash, one can expect the first-choice Indian XI to take the field against Pakistan.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, easily one of the best opening combinations in ODI cricket right now, will open the batting for India. In the absence of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul is expected to get the nod at number 3 followed by former captain MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav in the middle order.
Karthik, who has been in the Indian ODI team for a while now, is likely to get the nod over Ambati Rayudu and Manish Pandey in the playing XI and is expected to bat at either number 4 or 5 depending on how the team management uses Dhoni. Jadhav will get his number 6 spot back after returning from injury while all-rounder Hardik Pandya will come in to bat at number 7.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who just returned from a back injury, will spearhead the bowling attack that has arguably the world's best death bowler Jasprit Bumrah and India's spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
However, there are chances that India could experiment even in the game against Pakistan, especially after skipper Rohit confirmed that the team will be using as many players as possible to address the number 4 and number 6 concerns ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Indian playing XI to face Pakistan: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.