Colombo, Sep 10 (IANS) Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah returns to India’s playing eleven while KL Rahul also gets a game as a last-minute replacement for Shreyas Iyer as Pakistan won the toss and elected to bowl first in the crucial Super Four clash in the Asia Cup at the R Premadasa Stadium on Sunday.
India and Pakistan had met in the league stage of the competition at Pallekele last week, but it was abandoned due to rain after the Rohit Sharma-led side made 266. There has been rain forecast for Sunday’s game, but as of present it has been sunny weather.
While Bumrah makes an expected return in place of Mohammed Shami, Iyer suffered back spasms in the practice session ahead of the game, with Rahul given an ODI game in a last-minute decision. Both Iyer and Rahul were coming back into international cricket after long-term back and right thigh injuries needing surgical intervention.
Despite losing the toss, Rohit said his wish was 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. That's the nature of the sport (of rain playing spoilsport), it gave us good time to prepare and now we'll look to play well.”
Pakistan have retained the playing eleven from their Super Four win over Bangladesh in Lahore, which means seam bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf keeps his spot in place of left-arm spin all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz.
Captain Babar Azam said his bowlers will look to exploit moisture on the pitch. “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. We are ticking in all departments. As a team, we are playing well, we are focused on this one.”
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj
Pakistan: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Iftikhar Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf.
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