With the determination to avenge their defeat at the hands of the Men in Blue, Pakistan will take on arch-rivals India once again in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter of the Asia Cup at Dubai International Cricket Stadium today (Sunday).
The Super 4 stage match is scheduled to start at 7pm Pakistan time.
In a massive blow for Pakistan, pacer Shahnawaz Dahani will not be available to play against India due to injury.
Both Hasan Ali and Mohammad Hasnain have been asked to get ready for Sunday’s match as either one of them is expected to join in for Dahani.
Dahani sustained an injury while bowling in the match against Hong Kong in Sharjah on Friday.
As is the case with any suspected side strain injury, a medical team will monitor him for the next 48-72 hours, following which they will make decisions, including carrying out a scan and further participation in the tournament.
Initial reports suggest that the injury to the bowler is not serious. “Yet, it would not be wise to consider him for selection in the playing eleven against India,” an official said.
When asked who his likely replacement would be, the official said that it could well be Hasan or Hasnain. “We will take the decision only on Sunday according to our requirements.”
Dahani’s replacement is the only change expected from the Pakistan team that played against Hong Kong.
India will be without their ace all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been ruled out of the Asia Cup with a knee problem. He was the mainstay of India’s innings during their pool victory against Pakistan. His absence will mean that India will not only be looking for bowlers’ options, but they will also be having to fill in his place as a batsman.
Even before the start of the tournament, both sides had injury concerns. Pakistan were without Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mohammad Wasim Jr, whereas India were without Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel.
However, the absence of these players will not reduce the competitiveness between the two sides who will be aiming for an early advantage in their quest to make it to the final. A victory by either side on Sunday will be a big boost to their chances of making it to the final of the Asia Cup.
Pakistan definitely are looking forward to avenging a close defeat that they suffered last Sunday. Following the thumping win against Hong Kong the other day, Pakistan will go into today’s match with a bigger heart and confidence.
Expected playing IX
Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh