The Asia Cup 2023 is set for an electrifying showdown in its third match, featuring the cricketing giants India and Pakistan. This highly anticipated Group A clash has fans around the world eagerly awaiting the contest. India is poised to take on Pakistan for the first time in this season’s Asia Cup. Presently, India occupies the second spot on the points table, while Pakistan leads at the top.
India will kick off its campaign in this season of the Asia Cup, whereas Pakistan has already played and won a game. In their extensive history of encounters in this format, these two cricketing powerhouses have battled it out 132 times. India has emerged victorious in 55 of those clashes, while Pakistan has triumphed 73 times.
Saturday promises yet another thrilling encounter between these fierce rivals. The Pallekele International Cricket Stadium is renowned for its neutral wickets, offering assistance to both batsmen and bowlers. Spinners are expected to play a pivotal role during the middle overs on this track, making it a captivating contest to look forward to.
Despite Fakhar Zaman’s recent struggles, the hosts of the tournament may opt to give him another opportunity, considering his past record against India. For bolstering their pace attack, Pakistan has the option of Faheem Ashraf. Shaheen Afridi is expected to be Pakistan’s crucial weapon against the formidable Indian top order, especially given Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli’s track record against left-arm pace bowlers since 2021.
Rohit has an average of 25.8 against this type of bowler and has been dismissed five times. Kohli, on the other hand, has fallen to left-arm pace three times and averages 29. Additionally, Kohli has been dismissed seven times by left-arm orthodox spinners, with an average of 14.57. Ishan Kishan has been dismissed five times against left-arm pace, with an average of 29, making Mohammad Nawaz an important option for Pakistan.
Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Agha Salman/Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
The Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma, will see the return of Shreyas Iyer, who, along with Kishan, is expected to handle the middle order. If India is looking for an additional batting option, it may choose between Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel, with the latter having a slight edge due to the slow nature of the Pallekele pitch.
Kuldeep Yadav boasts impressive numbers against Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman, having dismissed each of them twice, with both batters averaging just 9 and 14 against him, respectively.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Fantasy XI Suggestion 1:
Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli (c), Babar Azam, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Shadab Khan (vc), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Shami
Fantasy XI Suggestion 2:
Mohammad Rizwan, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam (c), Rohit Sharma, Shadab Khan, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja (vc), Jasprit Bumrah, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Siraj, Haris Rauf