India’s star batter Virat Kohli met and hug Haris Rauf during practice session ahead of India vs Pakistan clash in Asia Cup
New Delhi: Rohit Sharma-led Indian Cricket Team is set to take on Babar Azam’s Pakistan at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Pallekele, on Saturday. Ahead of the mega IND vs PAK clash in Asia Cup 2023, both teams were in the practice session, which witnessed an epic moment between Virat Kohli and Haris Rauf.
India’s batting maestro Virat Kohli met Pakistan’s lethal pacer, Haris Rauf during the practice session. Both cricketers gave each other a hug, video of which is now going viral on the internet. Fans are loving this interaction between the star cricketers.
The last time Virat and Haris faced each other, the former Indian skipper hit the latter for two consecutive sixes in the 19th over and later led Team India to a famous victory at the T20 World Cup 2022.
In India’s opening match of the Asia Cup, they will be without wicketkeeper-batter K.L. Rahul due to a niggle unrelated to his right thigh injury, which has kept him out of action after May 1 this year. Though they have a like-to-like reserve player in Sanju Samson, it seems that Ishan Kishan could bat in the middle-order to fill in for Rahul’s absence.
Though Kishan hit three consecutive fifties in ODIs against West Indies in July, the top three of Shubman Gill, captain Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli have been set for a long time. Especially with the Men’s ODI World Cup squad selection deadline on September 5, the Indian team won’t be looking at tinkering the top three just to fit in Kishan for a stop-gap period.
Moreover, Kishan brings in the left-handedness in the middle-order, something which India have missed and can be sandwiched between right-handers Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav. If Kishan bats in the middle order, he will have to improve on his average of only 21.2 at No.4 and overcome his struggles against spinners as well as in rotating the strike.
Amidst the middle-order headache, India will be glad that Iyer is back into the national scheme after overcoming an excruciating back injury, which needed surgery and rehab. His return solves India’s concerns at No.4, with Iyer’s ability to use his feet and dominate the spinners taking the team’s charge in middle-overs batting.
India will be keen to see how Suryakumar and all-rounder Hardik Pandya provide the finishing kick with the bat. On the bowling front, the long-awaited return of Jasprit Bumrah and his testing the likes of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Rizwan will be keenly witnessed.
India will need to see who between Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Prasidh Krishna will be joining Bumrah in leading the charge with pace. Regarding the composition of their spin attack, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav will be the front runners, but if conditions aid more spin, then Axar Patel can come into play too.
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