Asia Cup 2023: Super 4: Pakistan vs India | 10-11 September | Colombo | India innings

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Very few know the art of survival better than the Asia Cup. It's endured through boycotts by both India and Pakistan, apathy from administrators, fluctuating fandom, seasonal revision of trophies, and even a raging pandemic. Furthermore, it hasn't shied away from switching between formats just so as to stay relevant.

It's no surprise then, that the Asia Cup has restyled itself into an enabler for Indo-Pak cricket in the last few editions. After all, it's the only tournament outside ICC events where the two teams meet and therefore, the organizers have left no stone unturned to ensure that this big match isn't washed out like the last one. In a helter-skelter, unpopular move in view of bad forecast, a reserve day has been brought in place to save the fixture - a luxury extended to no other fixture but the final. Well, you really are one of a kind, Asia Cup.

That said, no one would mind seeing an India vs Pakistan match to completion. And never more than now, when the last one left us wanting for more before a much-anticipated World Cup in "home" conditions, where both teams know that they have a genuine shot at glory. So now's the time for them to suss each other out, gain ascendancy locally and land the first blow.

Pakistan nearly did that in Pallekele, hurting India through Shaheen Shah's left-arm angles with the old ball and new. That sight, it must be said, felt far too familiar for how seldom these two sides play each other, and India's top-order would be desperate to talk back. And there's no better place to do it than in Asia Cup's quiet and quaint setting in Colombo, before the noise in cricket's largest setting in Ahmedabad comes for you.

Of the six teams participating, Pakistan have comfortably looked the best side in the tournament. The batters have done well setting a target as well as chasing it, but they would hope for some runs from Fakhar Zaman who's had a good year but a quiet last month or so. The fast bowlers have made people sit up and watch, so much so that Shoaib Akhtar has been reminded of the "old days".

It makes sense; Naseem Shah's bowling rockets, Shaheen's thinking his "best is yet to come" and Haris Rauf's doing everything right and fairly wanting to be the Player of the Tournament. All that's great but where Pakistan need to step up are their overs with spin. Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya cracked open that weak link pretty easily last week, and other good batters, of whom there will be plenty at the World Cup, will do it too. The last thing you want is some late lower-order partnership, about which captains have never been keener, to wipe out the damage inflicted by the faster bowlers.

To talk about India's campaign, it's been far from perfect. If the top-order batting came a cropper against Pakistan, the bowling and fielding against Nepal was "below par" in Rohit Sharma's words. They dropped three catches inside the first five overs and the bowling, barring Ravindra Jadeja, looked rusty. They, though, will be boosted by the return of Jasprit Bumrah, who has re-joined the team, but it would take more than just him to outdo an in-form Pakistan. They are the team to beat in the tournament and luckily, India will have a maximum of two days to try and do that. There might or might not be a result still but we already have a winner: the Asia Cup.

When: Sunday, 10 September 2023 at 3:00 PM local/IST

Where: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

What to expect: Long build-ups on telly and ball-by-ball commentaries. Because the forecast is diabolical with thunderstorms forecast right through Sunday. It's very likely that the reserve day is kicked into play but as irony would have it, the forecast for Monday reads even worse at the moment.

The pitch at Colombo is likely to be the slowest and most spin-friendly in the tournament so far, and will definitely have something in it for the bowlers after all the sweating under covers. Run-scoring was difficult in the last ODI played here, with Pakistan's 268 in the first innings proving more than enough; the spinners went on to pick six of the 10 Afghanistan wickets to fall.

Team news:

Pakistan

Naseem Shah hurt his arm while trying to field in the Super Four match against Bangladesh but in some good news, he returned to bowl later in the innings. With three days to recover, Naseem should be fit to go. Mohammad Nawaz might find his way back into the XI after he was left out in favour of Faheem Ashraf on a slightly pace-friendly track in Lahore.

Both Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman have a negative match-up against Kuldeep Yadav, so watch out for the spinner's early introduction into the attack.

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

India

Bumrah is back after his personal visit to India and should slot straight back in. KL Rahul, who had been recuperating at NCA Bengaluru, has also linked up with the squad in Colombo but will he get his middle-order spot and the keeping gloves back right away? Ideally, the in-form Ishan Kishan, who is also left-handed and helps break the right-hand monotony in the middle-order, makes for a better pick. India could opt for Axar Patel over Shardul Thakur if the pitch looks dry.

Since 2022, Virat Kohli has made his runs inside the PowerPlay at a strike-rate of 67 and an average of 19. That lack of form upfront is something Pakistan will look to sustain.

India Squad: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Tilak Varma


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Few pictures on Social Media showing the weather to be good at the moment but then this is also the forecast - real issue is when the game starts
 
Few pictures on Social Media showing the weather to be good at the moment but then this is also the forecast - real issue is when the game starts
Seems we will get two hours of play and then curtains . Reserve day is a total washout also I think
 
Seems we will get two hours of play and then curtains . Reserve day is a total washout also I think
Who cares. I hope they play today and on reserve day, cause india than has a game on tuesday.

Their guy made issues for us, good luck having an injury free team in the world cup
 
I always use bbc weather - and I’m hopeful for a full match today based on that.
 

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Who cares. I hope they play today and on reserve day, cause india than has a game on tuesday.

Their guy made issues for us, good luck having an injury free team in the world cup
Nice suggestion . We will beat you on the reserve day , and rest our key players for Tuesday .
 
Nice suggestion . We will beat you on the reserve day , and rest our key players for Tuesday .
better hope so. Because if you lose against us, we are in the finals, than you have to play your key players agaisnt Sri Lanka to win.

Wonder if bumrah can survive playing three days straight of 50 overs cricket. Bechara WC sey pehlay injure na hojai.....

serves jay shah and his country right
 
better hope so. Because if you lose against us, we are in the finals, than you have to play your key players agaisnt Sri Lanka to win.

Wonder if bumrah can survive playing three days straight of 50 overs cricket. Bechara WC sey pehlay injure na hojai.....

serves jay shah and his country right
Who is Jay shah
 
better hope so. Because if you lose against us, we are in the finals, than you have to play your key players agaisnt Sri Lanka to win.

Wonder if bumrah can survive playing three days straight of 50 overs cricket. Bechara WC sey pehlay injure na hojai.....

serves jay shah and his country right
Don’t worry about Bumrah . Worry more about how your openers will play him . Last year even our trundlers Bhuvi and Arshdeep were too much for them
 
India should stop being a chicken and play all 3 fast bowlers - Bumrah, Shami and Siraj. Both Shami and Bumrah can't do worse with bat than fake all rounder Shardul Thakur. Funny thing is, Pandya who is playing as batting all rounder bowled more overs in Nepal game than actual bowling all rounder Thakur. Just goes to show how clueless our team management is...LOL.

Anyway, good to see a sticky match thread of India which is rare for obvious reasons. All the best to both teams.
 
India should stop being a chicken and play all 3 fast bowlers - Bumrah, Shami and Siraj. Both Shami and Bumrah can't do worse with bat than fake all rounder Shardul Thakur. Funny thing is, Pandya who is playing as batting all rounder bowled more overs in Nepal game than actual bowling all rounder Thakur. Just goes to show how clueless our team management is...LOL.

Anyway, good to see a sticky match thread of India which is rare for obvious reasons. All the best to both teams.
The sticky match thread is because of Pakistan, not India.
 
Don’t worry about Bumrah . Worry more about how your openers will play him . Last year even our trundlers Bhuvi and Arshdeep were too much for them
why would i even worry? someone will lose and someone will win. End of story.

Looks like I hit a nerve there of an Indian. Chalo, now play 3 days of cricket. Shabash
 
Hope this time Pakistan bat and then its rained off.


Good practice for the boys before the WC.
 
why would i even worry? someone will lose and someone will win. End of story.

Looks like I hit a nerve there of an Indian. Chalo, now play 3 days of cricket. Shabash
Again don’t worry . You missed my nerve by quite a distance.
 
Hope this time Pakistan bat and then its rained off.


Good practice for the boys before the WC.

Hope not, I want to see a full game win or lose. I’d rather lose than have the match rained off after the first half.
 
should be a easy win for Ind much more professional team, Pak will crumble as usual under pressure unnecessary wides there fielding was nothing short of disgrace last Sunday.
 
Feel sorry for india today hearts will be broken
Today they will realise all the billions spent in IPL still a broke pakistan battered them black blue
 
Looking at our batting line up, batting right till the end I’m comfortable in our team chasing down 250-275ish scores. 300 might be a bit more tricky, but I don’t think our bowlers would let india score that much. Overall Pak are favs to win imo. Bowling covered, and support from bowlers with the bat too.
 
Google, the ultimate source of universal truth! If Google says it's raining, I guess I should throw on my swimsuit and grab my snorkel just to be safe.
 
Pakistan have won the toss and elected to bowl
 
Iyer injury is more worrying things than this whole match .we need him in world Cup
 
Rain can make the pitch and outfield conditions challenging for batsmen early in the match, as the ball can swing more and the pitch may assist bowlers.
so for me, it is an excellent decision to bowl first.
 
Pakistan starting with their strong suit bowling first. I expect india to score around 250-60 again, and we will chase it down.
 
From Rohit’s perspective

As a captain, you probably want to bat first knowing that chasing 250+ is a tough ask on such tracks and conditions, but he might be skeptical considering Pakistan have the ability to bundle them out for less than 200 as well.

Well, now it’s out of his hands. This works perfectly for him and his team
 
1. Moisture underneath the wicket
2. Ball comes to the bat better under the lights
3. Rain predicted later which may lead to a reduced target so will benefit the chasing team

So all signs point to bowl first if you win the toss which is what Pakistan have done...
 
Reduced game favours the chasing side. Cloud and rain around, gotta bowl first.
 
We are in the same stadium as yesterday’s match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh?
 
Rohit Sharma: Looking to bat first. There will be a challenge upfront, but the way we guys batted last time around gives us confidence. Every game is important for us, but one thing at a time to focus on. (On rain delays) That's the nature of the sport, it gave us good time to prepare and now we'll look to play well. Two changes - Bumrah is back and one forced change, Shreyas Iyer just got a back spasm so KL Rahul comes in for him.

Babar Azam: We will bowl first. I think there is a bit of moisture, we need to use that. Always, India Pakistan is high intensity, but we will take it match to match. As a team, we are playing well, we are focused on this one. No changes
 
Possible that BA wants to capitalize on the momentum from the last bowling performance?
 
Possible that BA wants to capitalize on the momentum from the last bowling performance?
Yes but every batsman in the Indian side is better than Bangladesh’s best batsman
 
1. Moisture underneath the wicket
2. Ball comes to the bat better under the lights
3. Rain predicted later which may lead to a reduced target so will benefit the chasing team

So all signs point to bowl first if you win the toss which is what Pakistan have done...
Our bowlers would have been sureshot success under lights. Even 230 would challenge them.

These look like the best batting conditions there will be in this game.
 
1. Moisture underneath the wicket
2. Ball comes to the bat better under the lights
3. Rain predicted later which may lead to a reduced target so will benefit the chasing team

So all signs point to bowl first if you win the toss which is what Pakistan have done...
But indian batsmen .... can rain fire.
 
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