India were handed a major blow ahead of the crucial Asia Cup Super 4 match against Pakistan with star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a knee injury. The southpaw had played a crucial knock in the group stage encounter against Pakistan, and will be a big miss for India in Sunday’s clash at the Dubai International Stadium. Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Deepak Hooda are the other spin-bowling all-rounders in India’s squad, while Ravi Bishnoi is also an option as a pure spinner.
Another worry for India is pacer Avesh Khan coming down with fever on the eve of the match, casting doubts on his involvement in the match. Replacing the two will be the biggest problem for the Indian team management to solve ahead of the big match against their arch-rivals. With no other pacer in the squad, apart from the ones who have already been playing, India will likely have to switch to a more spin-heavy bowling attack against Pakistan.
Here is our India predicted XI for the Asia Cup match vs Pakistan:
Rohit Sharma: The India captain did not have a great outing with the bat against Pakistan in the group stage, but looked in aggressive mood against Hong Kong, hitting 21 off 13. However, he could not convert his start and India will be looking for a bigger contribution from the experienced opener.
KL Rahul: While Rahul fell for a duck against Pakistan, he came under more criticism for his 39-ball 36 against Hong Kong. But India are likely to stick with him as he is returning from a long injury break and they will want him to find his rhythm sooner rather than later.
Virat Kohli: The former skipper has been India’s highest run-scorer in the Asia Cup so far, with knocks of 35 and 59*. Returning after a month-long sabbatical, Kohli has looked a little scratchy, but seems to be gathering momentum and form.
Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar Yadav lit up the Asia Cup with his blitzkrieg knock against Hong Kong, and will be a key player for India in the big match.
Rishabh Pant:The swashbuckling southpaw did not get a chance to bat against Hong Kong, but will likely be picked to replace Ravindra Jadeja as a left-handed option to counter Pakistan’s spinners in the middle overs.
Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder was the player of the match in the last India-Pakistan match and was then rested against Hong Kong. But he is sure to return to the team for the Super 4 match, especially with Jadeja and Avesh ruled out.
Dinesh Karthik: Dinesh Karthik has made the finisher’s role his own, almost, for India in the T20 setup. While he hasn’t had much of a chance to showcase his abilities in the tournament so far, he will play a key role if the top order fails.
Axar Patel: Axar Patel would be almost a like-for-like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, and was drafted into the squad after the latter was ruled out of the tournament. He is likely to come straight into the side.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The experienced pacer has done well in both matches for India so far. He was especially brilliant against Pakistan, taking 4/26. India will rely on him to lead a bowling attack being stretched rather thin by injuries and illness.
Arshdeep Singh:The left-arm seamer has impressed so far in his international career, despite going for runs against Afghanistan. He poses a threat with the new ball as well as at the death.
Yuzvendra Chahal: India’s strike spinner, Chahal has so far failed to pick up any wickets at the Asia Cup so far. But Rohit Sharma will hope the wily operator can deliver some crucial breakthroughs in Dubai.
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