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Asia Cup 2022: India vs Pakistan Predicted Playing 11

Checkout the probable playing 11 for the India vs Pakistan Match scheduled for 28th August at Dubai Stadium

Posted Date: Aug 28, 2022

Posted By: Bren Gray

Asia Cup 2022: India vs Pakistan Predicted Playing 11
Asia Cup 2022: India vs Pakistan Predicted Playing 11

India vs Pakistan Predicted Playing 11

In four days’ time, two of cricket’s great rivals, India and Pakistan, will meet in the second game of the Asia Cup 2022.

The match on August 28th could be the first of three between India and Pakistan, depending on how each side performs through out the Group and Super Four stages of the tournament. With clashes between India and Pakistan occurring infrequently courtesy of tensions between the two countries, cricket fans around the world will be licking their lips in anticipation of the next few weeks’ cricket.

Ahead of the October T20 World Cup, any game time teams can get is critical for settling on playing XIs that will front up for the format’s biggest tournament. Injuries to both sides have meant last minute call ups to their squads, with adjustments having to be made.

We preview the likely eleven players that will be fronting for India and Pakistan over the weekend.

India’s Predicted Playing 11 for India vs Pakistan

Perhaps India’s biggest headache over the last month has been narrowing their wide squad down to 15 players for the Asia Cup.

Now, they have to narrow this even further, to a playing XI for their first match against Pakistan. With a settled top six, the questions really revolve around how deep India will want to bat, and how many spinners vs. pace options they will want to take.

Here’s what India’s playing 11 against Pakistan is most likely to look like:

Opening Batters: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul

While India have a plethora of options to open the batting, captain and vice-captain looks to be the best option.

Both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul are world-class players who have led India and played a wealth of matches for their nation. Cool heads at the top of the order, and a partnership that has proven itself successful in the past will be what India is after, and these two opening the batting ticks the box.

With a career average of 32.38, with four hundreds and 27 fifties in T20I cricket, at a strike rate of 140, Rohit Sharma’s potential to devastate a bowling attack is famous across world cricket. KL Rahul offers a similar level of aggression and consistency once he gets going, so expect the pair to be India’s top choice against Pakistan on the weekend.

Middle Order: Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya

India have the luxury of playing a strong, reasonably settled middle order.

Virat Kohli is experiencing a dip in form, having just crossed 1000 days since his last century in any format of the game. However, with 3308 T20I runs at an average of 50.12, Kohli is still a dangerous player that any side in the world would want included in their line up. It’s just a matter of time until he regains form, and surrounded by other quality batters, playing against some second tier bowling line ups in the Asia Cup just may be what helps India’s former captain turn a corner.

Suryakumar Yadav is ranked No.2 in the world for T20 batting for a reason. This year alone the batter has scored 428 runs at a strike rate of 189.38, and has the ability to accelerate scoring in the backend of a match, or come out early to set the pace. Combine Yadav’s strike rate with that of Rishabh Pant’s (126.32) and Hardik Pandya’s (144.04), and India have a lethal middle order when it comes to fire power.

Hardik Pandya is also a genuine all-rounder, and offers a world-class pace option for India, having taken 50 wickets over his T20I career at an economy of 8.28.

Spin Bowlers: Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal

India has always been renowned for their spin bowling prowess, and there’s every chance they could opt to include three spinners in their XI to face Pakistan—particularly since Ravindra Jadeja offers a quality batting option at No.7, with an average of 23.44 and strike rate of 124.85 in T20Is.

Jadeja’s left arm spin has taken 50 wickets in T20Is, and will combine well with the wicket-taking threat of Ravi Bishnoi and Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal is coming off a Purple Cap winning performance in the 2022 IPL, and is also India’s leading wicket taker in this format of the game. Bishnoi, on the other hand, is much fresher to the side, but has already claimed 15 wickets in his first nine games for India.

With such a depth of spin options, expect someone like Ravi Ashwin to miss out—though he will be keeping the bench warm, ready to step up should any of India’s spin options fail to deliver.

Pace Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh

This leaves India just taking two specialist pace bowlers, who can open the bowling and finish at the death.

Keep in mind that they will be joined by Hardik Pandya who also can bowl four overs of pace, and the attack doesn’t seem so imbalanced. While there’s a chance that India won’t want to risk only taking two specialist pace bowlers, with Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel out injured, and so many spin options available for the slow UAE pitches, it’s likely India will only select Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh as their fast bowling options.

Kumar will be asked to take the role of veteran, typically playing second-fiddle to star bowler Bumrah.

Pakistan’s Predicted Playing XI for India vs. Pakistan

Pakistan have a fairly settled top order batting line up, and are strong through the middle order.

However, an injury to Shaheen Afridi mean that their pace bowling attack has required a reshuffle. Questions around the experience of their fast bowlers, as well as which spinners will be most effective on the UAE pitches are what Pakistan will be looking to solve over the coming weeks.

Here’s what Pakistan’s playing XI is likely to be when they face off against India this weekend:

Opening Batters: Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan

Selected as the side’s captain for this tournament, and currently ranked No.1 in the world for T20 batting, there’s no doubt Babar Azam will open the batting for Pakistan. The opener is bringing good form off the side’s series against Sri Lanka, where he scored a century and two half centuries in the Test format of the game. He’ll be looking to continue this momentum in the T20 format, which he likely will, given his last white ball century was in June 2022.

Keeping Azam company at the top of the T20 batting world rankings, Mohammad Rizwan is another certainty in the Pakistani line up. His stellar 2021 T20 World Cup speaks to his ability to devastate with the bat in this format—281 runs in his six innings. In 2021 alone he scored 1326 runs at an average of 73.66 and a strike rate of 134.89, something Pakistan will be hoping he continues against India this weekend.

Middle Order: Fakhar Zaman, Asif Ali, Khushdil Shah and Iftikhar Ahmed

Coming into the Asia Cup 2022 off some hot PSL form, Fakhar Zaman will fill Pakistan’s No.3 spot in the batting order. With seven half centuries and a century for the Lahore Qalandars, Zaman can score rapidly and shift the make up of a game in a matter of over.

As a genuine middle-order batsman, Asif Ali can bat anywhere in Pakistan’s middle order. He’s known for fiery cameos, such as his 25 off 7 balls against Afghanistan last T20 World Cup. Heading into bat with a platform set by Azam, Rizwan and Zaman, with quality batters still to come, Ali will be a dangerous weapon for Pakistan.

Run scoring machine Khushdil Shah will join Zaman and Ali in the middle order, where he’ll look to kick on from his domestic form and make a big score at the Asia Cup 2022. Having made a 35-ball century in the National T20 cup two years ago, Shah is yet to fully unleash his potential at the international level. Rounding out Pakistan’s middle order will be another player seeking to transform first class results into international runs, Iftikhar Ahmed, who also has the ability to contribute a few overs with the ball as well if need be.

Spin Bowlers: Shadab Khan and Usman Qadir

Slow, tricky pitches can be expected in the UAE, meaning every side will want to include several spin options.

For Pakistan, these are likely to be Shadab Khan and Usman Qadir. Khan is coming off an incredible PSL, where he scored over 250 runs with the bat, and took in excess of 15 wickets—the first player to ever do so. The all-rounder will be looking to pick up more wickets through his handy leg break bowling. Qadir also bowls leg break, and is known for his clever variation, having taken 24 wickets in 18 games at an economy of 7.5.

Pace Attack: Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim and Naseem Shah

Pakistan’s pace attack is its rawest looking area of the team, and also the most hotly contested.

With the withdrawal of Shaheen Afridi due to a knee injury, the pace attack is suddenly looking quite inexperienced, with Haris Rauf the veteran having played 35 T20I matches for Pakistan. Keeping him company are likely a 20-year-old and 19-year-old in the form of Mohammad Wasim and Naseem Shah. Wasim has taken 17 wickets in his 11 T20Is for Pakistan, while Shah is yet to play a T20I for his country, but is coming off a strong ODI performance against the Netherlands, where he took 5/33 at an economy of 3.3.

Expect these two teams to go hammer and tongs at each other on Sunday, in the first of what could be three meetings between these two cricketing rivals.