Ishan vs Rahul decision looms: India’s predicted XI for Pakistan clash | Cricket

A number of major Indian stars have returned to the ODI fold after recovering from long-term injuries in the recent past. While Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah seem to have slotted right back into their places in the playing XI, KL Rahul’s place in the squad is now looking rather shaky.

Ishan Kishan's performances has put a question mark over KL Rahul's place in teh squad.
Ishan Kishan’s performances has put a question mark over KL Rahul’s place in teh squad.

Rahul rejoined the team a few days ahead of their much-awaited Super Fours clash against Pakistan. While he may be an opener in Tests and T20Is, Rahul has made a name for himself playing in the No.5 position for India in ODIs and as their primary wicketkeeper. However, Ishan Kishan has flourished as a wicketkeeper-batter in India’s ODI squad in Rahul’s absence.

Kishan largely played in the top order this year but showed his abilities when he steered a fightback for India in their group match against Pakistan in the Asia Cup playing at No.5. He has scored four consecutive half centuries in the format this year. Kishan averages 48.50 in 19 ODI matches averages 53.00 in the 18 matches he has played at No.5.

There are chances that the management might just stick to Rahul and choose to give him some game time ahead of the World Cup and in that case, we might actually see the in-form Kishan sitting out. India are not expected to make any more changes, except for Jasprit Bumrah slotting right back into the lead bowler’s role in place of Mohammed Shami. Additionally, India might choose to play Axar Patel over Shardul Thakur if the pitch looks dry.

Meanwhile, Pakistan retained the playing XI that did the duty against Bangladesh at Lahore. In their Super 4 opener on Wednesday, Pakistan had defeated Bangladesh by 7 wickets, and another win over India here will place them firmly on the way to the summit clash on September 17.

Pakistan will enter the match against India with a four-pronged pace attack that includes Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf and Faheem Ashraf. The spin department will be marshalled by vice-captain and leg-spinner Shadab Khan with the support of part-time off-spinners Agha Salman and Iftikhar Ahmed.

India squad for Asia Cup match vs Pakistan:

Top-order: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli

Middle-order: Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (W/K)

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel

Bowlers: Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah Mohammed Siraj

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