• Saturday, July 13, 2024

Asia Cup 2023: India in disarray as Rohit, Kohli depart after rain break vs Pakistan

India openers started cautiously against a rejuvenated Pakistan pace attack but after the first rain break, the Men in Blue were rattled with some of their top guns getting dismissed quickly.

India captain Rohit Sharma (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

RAIN intervened in the fifth over of the high-profile clash between India and Pakistan in a group fixture in the ongoing Asia Cup in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on Saturday (2) after the Men in Blue led by Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat. They were 15 for no loss after 4.2 overs when proceedings were disrupted.

The game resumed after a break of half an hour and Sharma (11; two boundaries) was the first to depart as he was bowled by left-arm Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi. India received their second blow when Virat Kohli was castled by Afridi for four, leaving them at 27 for 2 in 6.3 overs.

Shubman Gill, the other opening batter playing against the arch-rivals for the first time, opened his account late and was batting on 1 off 12 balls and was joined by Shreyas Iyer at the time of writing this report.

The opening duo were cautiously seeing off the Pakistani opening duo of Afridi and Naseem Shah when it started pouring heavily at the Pallekele International Stadium and the players left the ground. The break seemed to have disrupted the batters’ concentration and India lost two quick wickets after resumption.

India’s playing XI saw the presence of batter Iyer and pacer Jasprit Bumrah, both of whom are making comebacks after a long injury break. India picked three seamers in Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur while ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya was the fourth pacer.

The spinning department was led by Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja — both left-arm bowlers.

Pakistan, on the other hand, decided to continue with the same combination that gave them a crushing 238-run victory over debutantes Nepal in Multan on Wednesday (30).

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