PAK vs IND Match Prediction & Analysis
Pakistan started off their quest to the 2023 Asia Cup with a resounding victory over Nepal in Multan. But the talk of the town is about their next game. In the explosive Group A match this Saturday in Pallekele, India and Pakistan will square off once more. The recent 3-0 victory over Afghanistan in their opening Asia Cup match would have given Pakistan a lot of confidence. India, on the other hand, will try to get the competition off to a good start.
Pakistan’s Asia Cup campaign has off to the best possible start. In Multan, Pakistan, after choosing to bat first against Nepal, they amassed a staggering 342-6 thanks to brilliant hundreds from captain Babar Azam (151 off 131 balls) and Iftikhar Ahmed (109* off 71 balls). Then, their bowlers put on yet another outstanding performance to dismiss Nepal for only 104 runs, giving them a commanding 238-run victory.
Babar Azam is in excellent shape, which is an understatement. He has always been the most reliable hitter across all formats, and he is off to a great start in the Asia Cup. Babar has participated in 12 ODIs this year, scoring 689 runs at an average of 57.41, with a strike rate of 87.10, two hundreds, and six fifty-sevens.
Another player who has the potential to alter the course of the game is the opener Fakhar Zaman. In his last 10 encounters, Zaman has scored 523 runs at an average of 58.11 and a strike rate of 92.56. He also has a strong record versus India.
The danger Iftikhar Ahmed poses lower in the pecking order was demonstrated. Mohammad Rizwan is another option who ought to be able to keep the middle order stable.
The world’s most dangerous fast bowling assault right now is in Pakistan. Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi have a history of being deadly on all types of pitches and will be a big threat to India’s batsmen. Before the first powerplay is over, we predict they will likely remove a few top-order wickets.
Pakistan’s Expected Starting XI:
Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (captain).
As they start their home stretch toward the ODI World Cup 2023, India has a lot to prove. The team will have an opportunity to find its rhythm and get some momentum at the Asia Cup. Since several of its major players have been constantly injured or rested over the past few seasons, India hasn’t had the luxury of playing their whole team. This time, they have a capable team that fulfills most requirements. KL Rahul will unfortunately miss the team’s opening two games as he is still experiencing discomfort from a niggle. It’s expected that Ishan Kishan will join the other eleven.
As usual, India’s batting lineup is powerful. Once again, Virat Kohli will be the major batter they need to watch out for. He has scored 427 runs at an average of 53.37 in 10 ODIs this year, with two hundreds and one fifty. He has been in outstanding form. Since Kohli averages 48.72 against Pakistan, it is expected that the batsman would put on another outstanding effort.
Rohit Sharma is another hitter who has the potential to impact this contest. In 16 ODIs against Pakistan, the Indian captain has an average of 51.42, two hundreds, and six fifty-pluses. Despite his recent struggles in ODIs, we anticipate Rohit to contribute well in this crucial match.
Watch out for all-arounder Ravindra Jadeja as well. He can be a key contributor with the bat lower down the order, and his left-arm spin in the middle overs will undoubtedly have an impact.
Kuldeep Yadav can also cause issues for Pakistan’s batting lineup. In 11 ODIs this year, the left arm wrist spinner has taken 23 wickets for an economy of just 4.87. His bowling should work well on this wicket.
Mohammed Siraj is another reliable source. Over the past couple of seasons, he has been India’s most reliable fast bowler, taking 14 wickets at an economy rate of 4.58 in his last six games. With Jasprit Bumrah returning from a protracted injury layoff, Sriraj will likely be the major potential wrecker of India’s speed bowling lineup.
India Expected Starting XI:
Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk)
THE PITCH AND THE WEATHER
Pallekele’s pitch is a classic Sri Kankan track. The pitch is excellent for batting but typically sluggish. It will be difficult for new batters to launch an attack right away. The pitch will aid spinners in turning a little bit, and the slow bounce here will hamper the batsmen.
This bog match may suffer from the effects of the rain. There may be a few strong downpours along with gloomy, humid weather.
At Pallekele, batting first results in an average score of 248. The highest score here is 363/7, recorded in a 2018 match between South Africa and Sri Lanka. The highest run chase at this field was 314-6 by Sri Lanka against Afghanistan in 2022. A target of between 280 and 290 runs should be sought for by the team batting first.
Toss: To Bowl
Pallekele is likely to have rain on Saturday. Because the chasing side will have a greater chance at the DLS target if the game is cut short due to rain, the team that wins the toss will probably choose to bat second.
India will Win this Match
In recent ODIs, India has a strong record against Pakistan. In four of their previous five one-day internationals against them, they have won. Pakistan, though, is a much improved team presently and won’t be simple to beat. They will present a significant challenge to India thanks to a threatening bowling assault and a Babar Azam in the best shape of his life.
On paper, The Men in Blue appear to be strong. Their issue, though, is that the squad is still in flux. They haven’t played the format in a while, and many of their players are returning from injuries. The team is perhaps a little rusty, and they might have trouble stopping this ferocious tempo attack. On the other hand, Pakistan has been in Sri Lanka for the past few weeks and has developed a strong winning momentum. India may have trouble getting past the No. 1 ODI team unless Rohit or Kohli shine.