Colombo, Sep 9: Since Friday, the Asia Cup was thrown into chaotic scenes as the announcement of a reserve day for the India-Pakistan Super Four clash came into the picture. Now, as the two teams look to renew their rivalry in Colombo on Sunday, the rain threat hasn’t subsidised.
Just like India’s league game at Pallekele was abandoned due to rain and their chase against Nepal affected by similar reason, the threat of a washout looms high in Colombo. As per various weather forecasts, chances of precipitation for Sunday’s match are at 90%.
Due to this, there is a reserve day in place for the clash on Monday, but the forecasts also say it has a 100% precipitation chance. If a miracle results in the weather clearing up in Colombo, India would like to seek some answers in finalising their combination for the Men’s ODI World Cup.
With Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli looking settled as top three, as well as Shreyas Iyer coming back as number four batter, India has to find solutions to its predicament of choosing between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as their first-choice wicketkeeper-batter.
Since January 2020, Rahul averages 56.53 in his resurgence as a dependable middle-order batter for India, before a right thigh injury which needed surgery kept him out of action since May this year.
Though a niggle unrelated to original injury kept him out of Pallekele leg, he did participate in wicketkeeping drills in Colombo, signalling that he’s ready to take up dual roles. On the other hand, Kishan, the left-handed batter, is on a run of four consecutive fifties.
Three of those fifties came as an opener in the West Indies and last of which was a sublime 82 under pressure against Pakistan at number five, a place he never batted before, impressing everyone with his versatility.
India will also be keen to see how pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah fares as a bowler in ODIs. Bumrah did play in the game against Pakistan last week, but hasn’t bowled in ODIs since July last year, skipping the game against Nepal to go back home for the birth of his first child.
India’s batters will undoubtedly be challenged by Pakistan’s bowlers, the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf, who took all ten wickets at Pallekele, with Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan to support them.
Though Naseem had a shoulder injury scare against Bangladesh in the Super Four match at Lahore, he did resume bowling. All these ingredients shape up for another tantalising affair, provided rain doesn’t come into play.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Prasidh Krishna.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Saud Shakeel and Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve). (IANS)