India vs Pakistan Playing XI tip-off: Shubman Gill returns for India, R Ashwin for Shardul Thakur, Fakhar Zaman for Imam-ul-Haq

India-Pakistan games aren’t for the faint-hearted. That’s why Playing XI decisions for these matches are not just taken by just considering the skills of players. Temperament, too is a factor.

Indian Express argues for the inclusion of Shubman Gill and R Ashwin in India’s XI, while Fakhar Zaman for Pakistan’s playing XI in the highly-anticipated ODI World Cup clash between the great rivals in Ahmedabad.

India’s dominating wins in the first two games make them the runaway favourite for the tournament. But no team can take afford to take Pakistan lightly.

Shubman Gill returns

Shubman Gill is all set to make a comeback in the playing XI for the marquee World Cup clash against Pakistan. Shubman has missed the opening two matches due to dengue. 99 percent he is available for tomorrow’s game,” Rohit said during the pre-match media conference. Gill looked in fine touch during an extended session at the Motera on Friday. The manner in which Gill faced the bowlers at the nets, it hardly looked like he was hospitalised last Sunday for dengue, with the blood platelet level dipping to 70,000. He is likely to replace Ishan Kishan at top of the order.

Festive offer

Ashwin in for Shardul

Veteran spinner R Ashwin is set to return against Pakistan. Although the Ahmedabad track would be another batting track, but Ashwin with his guile is likely to get a nod over Shardul Thakur. Ashwin continues to be a spin-alchemist, enhancing his game with an assortment of variations. Just run through their list of tricks—arm-ball, wrong’un, carrom ball, reverse carrom, off-break, flipper, left-arm orthodox, and left-arm wrist spent—you wonder whether there has been a better confluence of bowling styles ever in ODI cricket?

Fakhar for Imam

Abdullah Shafiqe’s century against Sri Lanka has made it sure that for India’s match, the toss-up would be between Imam-ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman. The duo has been a prolific run scorer for Pakistan at the top in recent times, but Fakhar’s woeful form has cost him his place in the team. But at the same time, his record against India are good; how can one forget the 2017 Champions Trophy final and there are high chances that he might come in and replace his opening partner Imam in the playing XI.

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India vs Pakistan: Pitch report

Ahmedabad looked pretty flat when New Zealand chased 282 with nine wickets to spare against England. That’s consistent with IPL form. India’s dominance over Pakistan is highlighted by four scores of 300 or more in the last five head-to-heads.

India vs Pakistan: Playing XIs

India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmad, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf

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