Underestimating Pakistan isn’t a mistake Rohit Sharma and his men are going to re-commit and starting off with a win in the high-octane first game will help the Men in Blue build early momentum in the 2022 Asia Cup.
The playing eleven that India fields for their 2022 Asia Cup opener is going to be itching to prove themselves after the 10-wicket mauling they received from Pakistan in the T20WC 2021. In this article, I am going to predict that playing XI is divided into three sections: The Top Order, The Middle order, and the Bowling attack.
i) The Top Order
Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul/Rishabh Pant, and Virat Kohli.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma will open the batting and if KL Rahul recovers from his fitness issues in time, he’s gonna be the one partnering Hitman at the top.
The right-handed batter has scored 1832 T20I runs at an average of over 40 and no other batter in the Indian lineup barring King Kohli averages more than him in the format. In case Rahul doesn’t make the cut for the 2022 Asia Cup, Rishabh Pant is expected to open with Rohit to make the much-effective right-hand left-hand combination.
Slotting in at number three will be a returning Virat Kohli who has made his intentions of helping India win the tournament extremely clear. Though his recent form has been a concern, Kohli’s record against Pakistan suggests that he’ll be dangerous.
ii) The Middle Order
Hardik has benefited a lot from leading Gujarat Titans to the 2022 IPL title and his international second-coming has been a total kill. He’ll be batting at 5, following India’s Mr. 360 Suryakumar Yadav. SKY has been in sublime touch during the recent tour of the Caribbean and is placed 2nd on the T20I batting rankings.
Dinesh Karthik –following an insane IPL season has made himself undroppable– and has played some match-turning cameos since his return to the team.
He’ll be the designated finisher for not only the game against Pakistan but throughout the Asia Cup 2022. Ravi Jadeja will be his support.
Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja will also share the bowling duties for the team. DK is likely to be the wicket-keeper if KL Rahul opens the batting.
iii) Bowling attack
The class duo of Bumrah and Bhuvi has not played many T20Is together after the 2021 edition. However, both of them are a certainty for all the 2022 Asia Cup games India will feature in.
In the tournament opener, they’re going to test the defences of the Pakistan openers Mohammed Rizwan and Babar Azam with the new ball.
Harshal Patel is set to partner them at the death and is expected to take wickets with his barrage of slower balls as the yorkers of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah choke the batters from the other end.
Then there’s the spin-wizard Yuzvendra Chahal. The primary spinner of the team, Chahal is a trickster through and through and has taken 79 T20I wickets from just 61 games at an average of 23.95. The match-up of a leggie in Chahal against the right-hand heavy batting line-up of Pakistan may end up being the decisive battle of India and Pakistan’s first game in the 2022 Asia Cup.