India and Pakistan will lock horns in a high-voltage T20 World Cup match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in Melbourne on Sunday.
Pakistan (Playing XI): Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
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India faced a 10-wicket defeat the last time the two teams clashed at the T20 World Cup on October 24, 2021 in Dubai.
India - Team composition
While India’s batting order looks settled, the Men in Blue will have still have some work to do in the bowling department, especially in the absence of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. Mohammed Shami, who replaced Bumrah in the squad, bowled a sensation final over against Australia in the warm-up fixture, picking three wickets and conceding only four runs, and should be an automatic selection. Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has impressed of late with his prowess in the PowerPlay and death-overs and is likely to pip Harshal Patel to the playing XI. The experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar will complete India’s pace trio, with all-rounder Hardik Pandya playing as fourth seamer.
Axar Patel should find a place in the XI, considering his ability to bowl spin across phases of the game. That he bats left-handed and is the lone southpaw in India’s top seven will also be an added bonus. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin could be preferred over leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, with Pakistan likely to play at least three left-handed batters in its top seven.
INDIA PREDICTED XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami.
Form Guide: L W W W W (Last five completed T20Is)