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UPDATE – 3:46 pm IST (10:16 am GMT) – Some good news! The rain seems to have subsided and the ground staff are in the process of peeling off the covers. The covers have been completely removed and Rohit Sharma with the helmet on, is seen shadow batting near the ropes. Shubman Gill joins him now near the dugout and we should not be far away from resumption.
UPDATE – 3:23 pm IST (9:53 am GMT) – Uh oh! The rain has gotten heavier and the umpires have taken the players off. The ground staff come charging in with the covers and in no time, they cover the entire square. Let’s hope this is just a passing shower and we can resume the action soon. Just as we type, the rain seems to have eased up and it has gone brighter as well. Stay tuned for further updates.
4.2 overs (0 Run)
Sprays it full and angling across, outside off, Rohit Sharma does have a feel for the delivery but withdraws his bat at the last moment.
4.1 overs (0 Run)
Bowls it on a good length, on off and middle, Rohit Sharma hangs on the back foot and pushes it to cover.
3.6 overs (0 Run)
At 141 kph, on a shortish length, outside off, Shubman Gill stands tall and defends it towards cover with an angled bat. A probing over by Naseem Shah comes to an end.
3.5 overs (0 Run)
Well left! In the channel on off, on a hard length, shaping away, Shubman Gill opts not to offer a shot.
3.5 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! Errs slightly in the line and sprays it down leg. Shubman Gill lets it go for a wide.
3.4 overs (0 Run)
Delivers it on a hard length, on middle, Shubman Gill rises to work it on the leg side. Gets squared up and gets a soft leading edge towards cover.
3.3 overs (0 Run)
This is bowled on a good length, outside off, moving away, Shubman Gill lets it go once again.
3.2 overs (0 Run)
On a hard length, on middle, Shubman Gill gets on top of the bounce and defends it to the right of the bowler.
3.1 overs (0 Run)
Swinging away, on a good length, outside off, Shubman Gill does not go reaching out to the delivery and lets the ball pass.
2.6 overs (0 Run)
Close! On a length, shaping in, on middle, Rohit Sharma looks to defend with a straight bat but ends up chipping it to the left of the bowler. Good comeback by Shaheen after being hit for boundary earlier in the over.
2.5 overs (0 Run)
Bowls with an upright seam, on a yorker length, on middle and leg, Rohit Sharma gets his bat down in time and digs it back to the bowler.
2.4 overs (0 Run)
Brings the length back a touch, in the channel on off, Rohit Sharma is happy to leave the ball alone.
2.3 overs (0 Run)
Keeps it full again, around off, Rohit Sharma times the drive straight to cover.
2.2 overs (4 Runs)
FOUR! BANG! The Indian skipper is feeling it today! Full and drifting on the pads, Rohit Sharma does not miss out as he flicks it in the air but in the vacant deep square leg region for a boundary. It almost went the distance for a maximum.
2.1 overs (0 Run)
Much straighter this time, on off and middle, on a good length, Rohit Sharma presses half-forward and keeps it out.
2.1 overs (1 Run)
WIDE! Loses his radar and spills it down leg. Rohit Sharma misses the tickle and the umpire calls a wide.
1.6 overs (1 Run)
Serves it just outside off, on a hard length, Rohit Sharma accounts for the hint of away movement and runs it down to third man. Retains the strike with a single.
1.5 overs (0 Run)
Honing in on the off stump line, on a length, Rohit Sharma solidly gets behind the line and defends it back to the bowler.
1.4 overs (1 Run)
Leg bye! Bowls it on a back of a length, on off, Shubman Gill gets on his toes to defend. The ball nips back in and catches him on the thigh pad. It eludes the diving Mohammad Rizwan to his left and the batters cross.
1.3 overs (1 Run)
On a back of a length, on off, Rohit Sharma waits on the back foot and uses the pace of the delivery. Dabs it down to third man for an easy single.
1.2 overs (0 Run)
Hurls it on a good length, just outside off, left alone again by Rohit Sharma. The ball keeps low and dies down on its way to Mohammad Rizwan.
1.1 overs (0 Run)
Begins in the corridor of uncertainty on off, at 142 kph, on a hard length, Rohit Sharma shoulders arms and lets the ball go through to the keeper.
Naseem Shah is brought into the attack from the opposite end.
0.6 over (0 Run)
Continues to pitch it up and serves it on the toes, Shubman Gill does well to jam it out to mid-wicket.
0.6 over (1 Run)
WIDE! Shaheen Afridi errs in line as he sprays a full delivery down leg. A wide called by the umpire.
0.5 over (1 Run)
Much better! On a good length, in the channel on off, angling away, Rohit Sharma is drawn forward in defence. Gets an inside edge that rolls to fine leg for a single.
0.4 over (0 Run)
Nails the yorker again, on leg, Rohit Sharma clips it sweetly but straight to square leg.
0.3 over (0 Run)
Pulls his length back and bowls it on a hard length, inward movement as well, Rohit Sharma gets cramped for room and wears it on the thigh pad. Not much of an appeal by the Pakistan players as the ball would have gone over the stumps.
0.2 over (4 Runs)
FOUR! Rohit Sharma and India are underway! Shaping in on the pads, on a good length, Rohit Sharma allows the ball to come to him and clips it aerially towards square leg. Fakhar Zaman flings himself to his left but the ball is out of his reach. First boundary for the Indian skipper.
0.1 over (0 Run)
On the money straight away! Starts from over the wicket and bowls on a yorker length, on off, Rohit Sharma is upto the task as he digs it out on the off side.
We are done with the prematch formalities and the umpires walk towards the pitch. The Pakistan players are in a huddle near the boundary line before taking their respective positions on the field. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill will open the innings for India and a lot will depend on how they start. Shaheen Afridi has the new ball in his hand and will begin proceedings. Let’s play…
We are moments away from the start of the match but first, the umpires and the match officials line up for the national anthems. It will be India’s national anthem first followed by the national anthem of Pakistan as the crowd joins in.
Shreyas Iyer is in for a chat. He says that it is a fantastic feeling. Adds that he never imagined that he would be playing in the Asia Cup when he was recovering. Mentions that he was a bit nervous and could not sleep last night. Shares that he is feeling super excited. Reckons that Pakistan has been doing well recently and batting against their pacers will be a phenomenal feeling. Ends by saying that the plan is to watch the ball and stay in the present.
PITCH REPORT – Sanjay Manjrekar was by the pitch before the toss to shed some light on the pitch. He mentions that it is a high-quality surface and unique in its own way. Mentions that the fast bowlers can get some seam and the spinners will get some turn but a good batter who can apply himself will be able to get a century as well. Ends by saying that With DLS coming into the picture, the captain winning the toss may prefer to bowl first. Ravi Shastri does a live pitch report after the toss and mentions that there is a little more grass as compared to the last game that was played at this venue. He reckons that the surface looks a bit slow and the bounce could be on the lower side. Claims that the average score in this ground has been 290 but in the last match, 230 would have been a winning total. Ends by saying that it is a good decision to bat first and look to get an excess of 260-270 which will put pressure on the opponents.
Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam says that they would have batted first as well. Mentions that they will now try to utilise the overcast conditions with the ball. Shares that they know the conditions here, having played a lot of cricket in Sri Lanka in recent times. Reckons that Asia Cup is a good preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup. Informs that they are going with an unchanged side. On his performance in the last game, he says that such a performance gives you confidence and hopes to replicate the same in this game. Ends by saying that India versus Pakistan is always a high intensity game and has told his players to enjoy the ocassion.
Rohit Sharma, the skipper of India, says that they will bat first. He says that the weather is unpredictable but they will not think much about it. He mentions that he is happy that they had some time off and had set up camp in Banglore and is confident of their preparation. He ends by informing that Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah are back and adds that they are going with three seamers.
India (Playing XI) – Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (WK), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
Pakistan (Unchanged Playing XI) – Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (C), Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.
TOSS – The two captains are out in the middle. India’s skipper Rohit Sharma calls it correctly and has opted to BAT first.
UPDATE – 2.20 pm IST (8.50 am GMT) – The rain is playing hide-and-seek with us and it looks like the ground staff have decided to get the covers off which could indicate that they do not expect heavy rain any time soon. All the covers have been removed and the Pakistan players are on the playing field getting some last-minute guidance from their coach Mickey Arthur. Things look positive and we may have the toss on schedule. Stay tuned as we have our fingers crossed.
UPDATE – 2.15 pm IST (8.45 am GMT) – We have some unfortunate news to bring you folks! The drizzle was light and the ground staff was looking at getting the covers off to start the cleaning-up process. Sadly, the drizzle has gotten much heavier and the covers remain firmly in place. Stay tuned as we bring you more updates.
India will be going into this game vary of the threat that their opposition possesses and will need to be at their best right from the start. They rested some of their big names in their recent series and they still have not been able to settle on a solid playing XI with the World Cup right around the corner. They have some big names in their batting line-up but while some have cemented their spots in the side, there are still a few spots up for grabs. Jasprit Bumrah’s inclusion back into the side has instantly boosted their pace bowling department and Kuldeep Yadav looks to be the first-choice spinner for India going into the future. Will India manage to find stability and beat one of the most settled sides of the globe? Or will Pakistan continue their winning run and show why they are the best ODI side in the world? We will find out soon. Stay tuned as we bring you the toss and team updates.
Pakistan have already announced their playing XI and it shows that they are brimming with confidence having whitewashed Afghanistan in the recent series and demolishing a relatively under-baked Nepal side in their opening game. Babar Azam continues to lead from the front, accumulating runs not only in ODIs but across all formats of international cricket as he keeps showing his calibre to the world. The good form of the middle and lower order allows them further stability which helps the top order to take their time and build the innings. The strength lies in their bowling department as they possess some world-class fast bowlers and each of them has a unique style which makes it a nightmare for opposition batters. Shadab Khan continues to be their primary spin-bowling option and he continues to justify the faith shown in him by performing with both the ball and the bat.
Hello, and a warm welcome, ladies and gentlemen to our coverage of the much-anticipated clash between arch-rivals Pakistan and India in the 2023 Asia Cup as we see two of the favourites lock horns to gain early supremacy. We are still at the nascent stages of this competition as we arrive at match number 3 but the result in this fixture will give us a solid understanding of how Group A plays out. Pakistan have already played their first game registering a comprehensive win against first-timers Nepal but India are yet to kick off their campaign and will want to do it in style against the number one side in the world. There is a threat of rain meandering over this game but we still expect there to be some cricket as both teams will be eager to find a result.
… MATCH DAY …