India vs Pakistan T20 World Cup 2022 Playing XI tip-off: Arshdeep over Harshal, Ashwin for Chahal, Shaheen makes a comeback

India vs Pakistan, T20 World Cup 2022 Match Playing XI tip-off: Team India captain Rohit Sharma, ahead of the blockbuster Group 2 opener against Pakistan, said they are more prepared for the 2022 T20 World Cup dismal campaign last year.

Rohit also mentioned that in his mind he is clear about the playing XI that will play against Pakistan. But playing XI decisions for these matches are not just taken by considering players’ skills. Temperament, too is a factor. Indian Express argues for the inclusion of Arshdeep Singh and R Ashwin for their T20 World Cup clash against the fierce rival.

Arshdeep for Harshal

With no Jasprit Bumrah, Arshdeep Singh is arguably the best death bowler for India at the moment. However, Mohammed Shami showed in the Warm-up match against Australia that he can also be very effective. The question is, who should be India’s third seamer? Both Harshal and Arshdeep are the same kind of bowlers; they rely on the yorkers and slower ones in the death. But during the warm-ups, Arshdeep showed that he could swing the ball, and to add on, he is a left-arm, which just gives him the edge over Harshal Patel.

R Ashwin for Yuzvendra Chahal

Between R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, India will have to pick one. Chahal is a good wicket-taking option but can go for runs, while Ashwin a wily customer, is more suited for the Australian grounds, given the bigger ground dimensions and he has done no harm with his performance in the warm-ups. Barring Shan Masood and Mohammad Nawaz, Pakistan are stacked up with right-handed batters; going with Ashwin might be a conservative approach but one can deny the experience of the veteran spinner. And not to forget, R Ashwin, the batter, has been a revelation in T20 cricket recently, which will give India more cushion down the order.

Shaheen returns

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s return gives a massive boost to the Pakistan side. In their last encounter against India at the World Cup, the left-arm pacer had single-handedly destroyed the Indian top order with his swing and pace. The return of Shaheen Afridi from a knee injury will further strengthen the Pakistan pace department with the likes of Haris Rauf, who has experience playing in Australia’s T20 Big Bash League for Melbourne Stars, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Wasim and Mohammad Hasnain, all expected to challenge the opposition on bouncy pitches. Pakistan has six terrific fast bowlers in their rank. But it is more or less certain that Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah will be the three pacers they will go with.

Pitch Report

The MCG has been consistent in the last 20 games. Eleven of those first-innings saw 160 or more. Nine were won by the side batting second.

Weather Report

Fickle Melbourne weather can play as a spoilsport.After an early prediction of 95% chance of rain and about 20mm of precipitation on Sunday evening, the Bureau of Meteorology upgraded the forecast on Saturday evening to 70% chance of rain.

India vs Pakistan Predicted Playing XI

India XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh

Pakistan XI: Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Babar Azam (c), Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

India vs Pakistan Squads

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel and Deepak Hooda.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammed Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Mohammed Nawaz, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammed Wasim, Shadab Khan, Mohammed Hasnain.

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