Rohit and Shubman’s recent performances have not matched their usual standards, particularly against left-arm fast bowlers like Shaheen. Notably, Shaheen had dismissed Rohit and KL Rahul during the 2021 T20 World Cup and posed challenges for Indian openers in the T20 World Cup in Melbourne last year.
However, KL Rahul will be absent from this encounter due to an injury, despite being part of the 17-member Indian squad. Consequently, Rohit will share the opening responsibilities with Gill in this match. Shubman Gill has made a name for himself as an accomplished opening batsman across various formats in recent times.
Shaheen Afridi, discussing his approach to the game, stated, “My game plan is straightforward. Every opener is aware of my strategy. As always, my primary goal is to dismiss the openers early, applying pressure on the opposing batting side. When the middle order takes the crease, they will have to deal with the new ball and not get accustomed to it.”
Notably, this ODI encounter marks a significant event as India and Pakistan will face off in this format after a hiatus of four years, and it’s also their first Asia Cup ODI meeting in five years. The last Asia Cup ODI clash between the two teams took place in 2018, while their last ODI encounter was during the 2019 World Cup.
In terms of the Asia Cup’s format, this edition follows a hybrid model. Pakistan will host four of the 13 tournament matches at home, with the remaining nine, including the Super Four and the final, being held in Sri Lanka. This co-hosting arrangement with Sri Lanka was decided upon after the BCCI declined to send its team to Pakistan. Consequently, India will participate exclusively in matches hosted in Sri Lanka. The tournament’s grand finale is scheduled to take place in Colombo on September 17th.