India awaits clear weather for crucial Asia Cup Super Four clash against Pakistan

The highly anticipated India-Pakistan Super Four clash in the Asia Cup faces the looming threat of rain, with forecasts indicating a 90% chance of precipitation on Sunday.

The eagerly awaited Super Four clash between arch-rivals India and Pakistan in the Asia Cup is under the looming threat of rain. Weather forecasts indicate a high likelihood of precipitation, with a 90% chance of rain on Sunday in Colombo, where the match is scheduled to take place.

Similar to India’s previous encounter against Nepal, which was impacted by rain, and their league game at Pallekele, which was abandoned due to inclement weather, the upcoming clash faces the risk of a washout. Consequently, tournament organizers have designated a reserve day for the match on Monday. However, the forecasts for Monday indicate a 100% chance of precipitation, raising concerns about the match’s fate.

The India-Pakistan fixture holds great importance for India as they seek to solidify their team composition for the impending Men’s ODI World Cup.

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India’s top-order batting appears to be settled with Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli occupying the first three positions. Additionally, Shreyas Iyer has made a return as the designated number four batsman. However, India faces a dilemma in choosing between KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan as their primary wicketkeeper-batsman.

KL Rahul, who enjoyed a resurgence as a dependable middle-order batsman for India since January 2020, has an impressive batting average of 56.53 during this period. Although he missed the Pallekele leg due to a minor injury unrelated to his previous ailment, he participated in wicketkeeping drills in Colombo, signaling his readiness to handle dual responsibilities.

On the other hand, Ishan Kishan, a left-handed batsman, has displayed consistent form, scoring four consecutive fifties. Notably, he adapted to a new role as an opener in the West Indies, and his sublime 82-run innings under pressure against Pakistan at number five earned praise for his versatility.

In addition to the wicketkeeping situation, India will closely observe the performance of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah in ODIs. Bumrah, who last bowled in ODIs in July last year, participated in the game against Pakistan last week. He missed the match against Nepal to attend the birth of his first child.

India’s batsmen are set to face a challenging test from Pakistan’s formidable bowling attack, led by the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf. In their previous match at Pallekele, these bowlers combined to claim all ten wickets. Additionally, Faheem Ashraf and Shadab Khan provide valuable support to the pace trio.

While Naseem Shah had a brief injury scare concerning his shoulder during the Super Four match against Bangladesh, he subsequently resumed bowling. These factors set the stage for another enticing contest, provided that the unpredictable weather does not interfere.

Squads:
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, 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, Tayyab Tahir (travelling reserve).

-IANS