Highly-anticipated clash kicks off with Pakistan electing to bowl

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam tosses coin ahead of 9th match of the Asia Cup 2023. — X/@TheRealPCB
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam tosses coin ahead of 9th match of the Asia Cup 2023. — X/@TheRealPCB

Pakistan on Sunday won the toss and opted to bowl in the high-voltage Asia Cup 2023 Super 4 clash with India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. 

The arch-rivals resumed their clash after rain washed out their previous game in Pallekele. On that occasion, India were dismissed for 266 in 48.5 overs. Pakistan — who are currently at the top of the points table — could not begin their chase because of the weather.

After beating Bangladesh by seven wickets in their first Super Four match, the Men in Green will look forward to continuing their excellent form in the Asia Cup.

“We will bowl first. I think there is a bit of moisture, we need to use that. Always, India-Pakistan is high intensity, but we will take it match to match. As a team, we are playing well, we are focused on this one,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said at the toss.

Meanwhile, India are playing their first match in the Super 4 stage.

“Looking to bat first. There will be a challenge upfront, but the way we guys batted last time around gives us confidence. Every game is important for us, but one thing at a time to focus on,” said Indian skipper Rohit Sharma.

The Group stage match between India and Pakistan on September 2 was washed out in Pallekele.

With chances of precipitation up to 90%, spectators and fans fear another disrupted game. However, according to ESPNcricinfo, it was bright and sunny on Sunday morning in Colombo.

However, should the rain interrupt the match later in the day, the match will move to Monday — the reserve day for the clash.

This is a big match because even one loss in the Super 4s can send you on the brink of “must-win territory”, and with in-form Sri Lanka set to face both these sides next week, the two points at stake today are in high demand. 

There is also a small chance that today’s fixture is the last India v Pakistan fixture at the 2023 Asia Cup because Sri Lanka are strong contenders to be a finalist and history tells us that India and Pakistan have never met at Asia Cup finals.

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Haris Rauf.

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

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