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The chase for Asia Cup: India vs Pakistan - Key match ups to look forward to

Asia Cup 2023: India vs Pakistan - Key match ups to look forward to. Checkout who has edge over whom and Probable XI.

India will not travel to Pakistan in Asia Cup 2023 - Jay Shah (Photo_ ©ACC/Twitter)
India to play Pakistan on September 2 (Photo: ©ACC/Twitter)

Ever since the schedule for the Asia Cup 2023 was announced, fans have been desperately looking forward to the clash between the arch rivals, India and Pakistan. The teams are set to meet on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

The Asian giants have faced each other 13 times in the ODI Asia Cup history. India leads the head-to-head 7-5, with one game in 1997 being washed out.

India once again leads the race of trophies with six title wins as compared to Pakistan’s 2 trophies.

With a chance of the two facing each other thrice over the course of 13 matches in the upcoming tournament, let’s have a look at the key match-ups between two teams.

Hardik smashes Shadab Khan at a strike rate of 209.1 in ODIs

With both teams locking horns with each other only in the multi-national tournaments for a long time, there is just a small face-off history among the players of the two teams.

India’s opener Rohit Sharma has faced Pakistan’s new ball bowler, Shaheen Shah Afridi only during the 2018 Asia Cup in ODI format, scoring unbeaten 18 runs in 19 balls at a strike rate of 94.7 with the help of two boundaries and one six. Even though he is yet to face Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah in ODI formats, Sharma has been dismissed twice by Rauf in 13 balls in the T20I format.

Quite interestingly, Virat Kohli hasn’t faced any of those three Pakistan bowlers in ODI format but when it comes to T20Is, he has 34 runs in 22 balls against Afridi at a strike rate of 154.50 besides getting dismissed once by him.

Leg spinner Shadab Khan has been taking the responsibility for Pakistan bowling in the middle overs for a long time now. Kohli has unbeaten 30 ODI runs in 28 balls against Shadab at a strike rate of 93.3, while Rohit has been dismissed once by Shadab and he has scored 89 runs in 77 balls in ODIs at a strike rate of 115.6 against the Pakistani wrist spinner.

Hardik Pandya has a tremendous record against Shadab, scoring 46 ODI runs in 22 balls at a strike rate of 209.1 with the help of three boundaries and four sixes without getting dismissed by him even once.

Kuldeep Yadav’s upper hand over Babar and Fakhar

Pakistan’s opener Imam-ul-Haq has scored nine runs in 14 balls against India’s sensational new ball bowler Jasprit Bumrah in ODIs without being dismissed. Fakhar Zaman has 25 unbeaten ODI runs in 45 balls against Bumrah at a strike rate of just 55.6.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam has 17 runs in 26 balls at a strike rate of 65.4 against Bumrah without being dismissed in the 50-over games.

Fakhar has scored 31 runs in 31 balls against Hardik Pandya, and he has been dismissed by him just once, while Babar has unbeaten 52 runs in 51 balls in ODIs against the Indian medium pacer at a strike rate of 102. Ravindra Jadeja has been smashed by Fakhar for 33 runs in 23 balls at a strike rate of 143.5 without being dismissed by him so far in ODIs.

However, Kuldeep Yadav has the upper hand over left-handed opener Fakhar, he has been successful in dismissing him twice in ODIs - besides giving away just 28 runs in 27 balls. Kuldeep has also got the better of Babar twice in 50-over games, besides going for just 18 runs in 34 balls against him at a strike rate of 52.9.

Even though Hardik Pandya is yet to bowl against Mohammad Rizwan in ODI format, he is ahead of Rizwan in T20Is, having dismissed him twice while giving away 26 runs in 21 balls.

India find headache among Gill, Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav

India will be playing with their full strength ODI side after a long time. So many players will be back after recovering from their respective injuries.

The main challenge for India’s team management will be choosing between Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Iyer has been excellent at the number four position for India in ODIs - scoring 805 runs in 20 innings with an average of 47.35 and at a strike rate of 94.37 - thanks to his two centuries and five fifties.

With Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan opening the batting for India, if Iyer comes in at number four, Gill may end up warming the benches. Suryakumar Yadav in that case will play at number five. Or if Gill plays at number 4, then Iyer will have to come in at number 5 where his average drops down to 32.44.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk.), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj.

Pakistan looks brutal with balanced team

Pakistan has been excellent in their ongoing ODI series against Afghanistan winning the first two games. If their deadly fast bowling ensured them victory in the opening game, then it’s the lower-order batting that put them on the right side of the nail-biting encounter.

Therefore, the well-set Pakistan side are expected to give a tough fight to India in the upcoming encounters. The Asia Cup clashes between the arch rivals are expected to be full of passion and extraordinary performances, as always.

Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk.), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Usama Mir/ Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.

1 Comment

Aug 26, 2023

Nice analysis.

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