Home NEWS Bumrah returns, dilemma over Shardul & Rahul

Bumrah returns, dilemma over Shardul & Rahul

With fit-again KL Rahul back in Asia Cup, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have some thinking to do. Shardul Thakur’s poor form also creates a dilemma regarding India Playing XI vs Pakistan on Sunday.

Round 2 of India vs Pakistan in Asia Cup 2023 is here. On Sunday, Rohit Sharma & Co will take on unbeaten Babar Azam-led Pakistan in the Asia Cup Super 4 clash. While rain has dominated the talks, India Playing XI vs Pak has two big dilemmas. KL Rahul is back and so is jasprit bumrah. Shardul Thakur is also not up to the mark and that creates a problem. Who should Rohit Sharma & Rahul Dravid drop for IND vs PAK clash?

Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t yet bowled in Asia Cup 2023 with rain spoiling the first IND vs PAK game. Then, he had to go back home for the birth of his first child. He missed the India vs Nepal game. Mohammad Shami came in as a replacement.

Whom to drop for Bumrah?

Mohammad Shami bowled 7 overs for a wicket in his absence. But now that Jasprit Bumrah is back, who should India drop? The pace battery has three options for India Playing XI vs PAK:

  • Mohammad Shami: Even though he picked up just one wicket, he was economical.
  • Mohammed Siraj: He bowled a brilliant spell against Nepal with 3/61. While he was expensive, he remains crucial to India’s plans against Pakistan.
  • Shardul Thakur: Expensive with the ball and not contributing with the bat, Shardul remains a concern for Team India. While he is in the Playing XI as he adds to India’s batting depth, it has not worked out in white-ball cricket. Hence, it looks likely that Shami, Siraj and Bumrah will be the three pacers India will go with, dropping Shardul.
India Playing XI vs PAK: Jasprit Bumrah to return, dilemma over Shardul Thakur, KL Rahul in India vs Pakistan (IND vs PAK) Asia Cup 2023 clash

KL Rahul or Ishan Kishan?

Another dilemma is KL Rahul in India Playing XI vs PAK. Fit-again Rahul has joined the team in Colombo. He had his first practice session in Asia Cup 2023 ahead of India vs Pakistan clash. While he was absent, India did try many options including Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. So far, only Ishan Kishan features prominently in plans.

Kishan has been in great form. He has scored 52, 55, 77 and 82 in his last four ODI innings, making it impossible to drop him. Against Pakistan, he was the batter who helped India launch a fightback after Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf rattled Indian batting order. Furthermore, he is a left-hander and that helps India in tackling left-arm seam or left-arm spin.

It is likely that KL Rahul will warm the bench despite his great stats in ODIs. While Rahul is going to be the designated wicketkeeper-batter in World Cup 2023, India Cricket Team management would want to ease him in rather than rushing a return in India vs Pakistan (IND vs PAK) Asia Cup 2023 clash.

Is there a place for Axar Patel?

Axar Patel is another question that Rohit Sharma needs to answer. Even though he is a like-for-like replacement of Ravindra Jadeja, an additional spinner may come in handy. But at whose expense is the question. It will all come down to the R Premadasa Stadium pitch.

Even though rain may help seamers, if the pitch two-paced and slow, India Playing XI vs PAK may have an additional spinner with Hardik Pandya playing the role of a third seamer. In that case, Bumrah and Siraj would be the only frontline pacers. Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel would be the three spinners.

But again, it will depend on the conditions. Team India haven’t had a look at the R Premadasa Stadium pitch yet. It has remained under wraps due to heavy rain in the Sri Lankan capital city. Hence, nobody knows what to expect, yet.

India Playing XI vs PAK:

  1. Rohit Sharma(C)
  2. Shubman Gill
  3. Virat Kohli
  4. Shreyas Iyer
  5. Ishan Kishan(WK)
  6. Hardik Pandya (VC)
  7. Ravindra Jadeja
  8. Mohammed Shami/ Axar Patel
  9. Kuldeep Yadav
  10. jasprit bumrah
  11. Mohammed Siraj

India Squad for Asia Cup 2023

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

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