Team India dished out a superb all-round effort to beat Pakistan by 228 runs in the Super 4 encounter at the Asia Cup on Monday. The contest, which was heavily affected by rain, was played in two days with India managing 147/2 on the board in 24.1 overs after being invited to bat by Pakistan captain Babar Azam on Sunday. Rain, however, forced the match into the reserve day, during which India dominated the proceedings right from the word go.
Resuming the match from where it had stopped on Sunday, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul stitched a gigantic over 200-run stand to help India pile an enormous 356/2 in 50 overs. Both Kohli and Rahul also slammed their respective tons and finished unbeaten, following which the bowlers joined the party.
It started with Jasprit Bumrah, who then passed the baton to Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur, before Kuldeep Yadav hammered the final nail in the coffin. While the pacers returned with a wicket each, Kuldeep went to complete a five-wicket haul, helping India decimate the opposition for just 128 in 32 overs.
However, the job for Team India is far from completed as they meet defending champions Sri Lanka in the crucial encounter, which is scheduled to be played later in the day.
This will be the third day on the trot of Team India being in action so it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the management decides to tweak the winning XI.
If we look at the combination Rohit along with Gill will lead the charge with the bat. The pair had given India a solid start in the previous encounter and the management will hope for a repeat.
Kohli and Rahul, on the other hand, displayed top-notch form and will now look to build on it, especially the latter, who was playing his first match after a long injury break.
Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan, who has already shown his potential earlier in the continental event, should occupy the number 5 spot.
Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will be leading the all-round department, before passing the baton to the tailenders.
However, there could be one change in India’s XI as Mohammad Shami could walk in the place of Jasprit Bumrah. The pacer, who is making a return after a long injury layoff, was seen leaving the field after his fiery first spell against Pakistan in Colombo. Also with the World Cup approaching, the management would try to keep their options open, keeping the workload factor in mind.
India’s predicted XI vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2023, Super 4:
Openers: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill
Spinner: Kuldeep Yadav