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India-Pakistan matchup is more interesting because of the World Cup.

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India and Pakistan don’t play each other very often, but when they do, it’s not even close to a high-octane match. Emotions get out of hand, stadium tickets sell out, sellers make a lot of money, TV screens are still broken, and the winner of the game often overshadows the rest of the story. This year’s Asia Cup could have three of these kinds of games, starting with the one on September 2 in Pallekele.

The weather prediction calls for rain and thunderstorms all day, so round one of the fight between the heavyweights might end in a tie. The last ODI between these two teams was at the 2019 World Cup. Since then, they have played four T20I matches in the T20 World Cup and the 20-over version of the Asia Cup. If the weather allows it, the game on the weekend could also be cut short.

India is going into the race for the first time in a few months with a full-strength team. They just finished a camp in Alur, which is outside of Bengaluru. Head coach Rahul Dravid said he was confident in the team’s lineup, since players like Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah were back. India, on the other hand, will hope that the fact that they haven’t played much won’t be a problem and that they’ll be able to hit their stride right away. Since there weren’t enough ODIs before the World Cup, everyone’s playing time would be just as important as the game itself.

Pakistan’s Asia Cup effort got off to a strong start. Babar Azam and Iftikhar Ahmed both scored hundreds, and Pakistan’s bowlers were very good, helping them to a big win. Armed with people who are fit and ready to work, they have already made sure that their performance in these situations is taken into account. But there were some worries. Fakhar Zaman failed again at the top of the order, and Nepal kept the Pakistani batsmen in check for most of the game until Babar and Iftikhar got them to a big score. Shaheen Afridi wasn’t in the best of rhythms, even though he got a couple of wickets. He also needed some help near the boundary ropes, which Pakistan will hope doesn’t turn into something serious.

When: 3 p.m. local time on Saturday, September 2

Pallekele International Cricket Stadium is the place.

Rain and thunderstorms are likely, and there will be a thick cloud cover the whole time.

Team news and plans:

Even though Zaman has been struggling lately, Pakistan, who is hosting the event, gave him another chance. They may have done this because of his history against India, as they kept the same XI.

Taking into account how Rohit and Virat Kohli have done against left-arm pace bowlers since 2021, Afridi will be Pakistan’s best tool against the Indian top order. Rohit’s average against this type of bowling is 25.8, and he’s been out five times. Kohli’s average against left-arm pace is 29, and he’s been out three times. Kohli has been out seven times by a left-arm orthodox spinner, and his average is 14.57. Ishan Kishan has been out five times, and his average is 29, so Mohammad Nawaz is also an important choice for Pakistan.

Playing XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, and Haris Rauf.

India: Rohit Sharma will be in charge of the team, and Shreyas will be back. He and Kishan will run the middle order. If India needs an extra batsman, they might choose either Shardul Thakur or Axar Patel. Since the Pallekele pitch is slow, Axar Patel is probably the better choice.

Kuldeep Yadav has done well against Babar and Zaman. He has gotten rid of each of them twice, and Babar and Zaman have averaged 9 and 14 runs against him, respectively.

Possible 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.

Have you heard?

In ODIs against India, Babar Azam has never scored more than 50 runs. He has a 31.60 batting average, with a high of 48, and has driven in 158 runs in five games.

Rohit Sharma has scored more than 90 three times in his last five games against Pakistan. Rohit’s scores in his last five ODIs against Pakistan were 91 (119), 0, 39, 111* (119), and 140 (113).

Ravindra Jadeja has scored 448 runs at an average of 49.77 since the 2019 World Cup. But in 10 of the 22 games he’s bowled during this time, he hasn’t gotten anyone out.

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