Ind vs Pak: Likely playing XIs as arch-rivals set to lock horns in tomorrow’s World Cup clash

Indias captain Rohit Sharma (left) with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam stand beside the trophy during the Captains Day event at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India on October 4, 2023. — AFP
India’s captain Rohit Sharma (left) with Pakistan skipper Babar Azam stand beside the trophy during the Captains’ Day event at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India on October 4, 2023. — AFP

With both India and Pakistan coming of comprehensive World Cup wins against Australia and Sri Lanka, respectively, it is imperative to look into the likely playing XIs of the two cricketing giants who are set to lock horns in the much-anticipated match on Saturday (tomorrow) in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi stadium.

With both teams set to compete in their eighth World Cup match, Pakistan are coming after securing a record-breaking win against Sri Lanka, whereas the Men in Blue too, will take on the Green Shirts after dismantling Australia and Afghanistan.

Both teams have secured victories in their initial two matches of the tournament, albeit in different manners.

India managed a low-scoring triumph against Australia and effortlessly chased down a slightly below-par total set by Afghanistan. Key players in the Indian batting lineup have impressed, and Jasprit Bumrah’s outstanding bowling performance against Afghanistan played a pivotal role.

Despite making history via a successful record-breaking run chase against Sri Lanka., Pakistan cannot afford to be negligent with their bowling performance against India, as the Men in Blue, especially with strong performers like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, can capitalise on any loose deliveries.

Notably, in the nine matches of the World Cup thus far, all nine Player of the Match awards have gone to batters. Surprisingly, this may present an interesting strategy, as diversifying the choices among these talented batters could be advantageous.

Sharma and Kohli stand a great chance of being India’s top run-scorers, while Pakistan’s best batters Babar Azam, in-form Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Rizwan will likely need to excel for them to create an upset.

Expected playing XIs

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saud Shakeel, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf.

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

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