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ICC World Cup 2019 – Match 22: IND vs PAK – India Predicted Playing XI

What changes will Team India make in the absence of Shikhar Dhawan?

Team India
Team India. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

As Team India gears up for the much-awaited and highly-anticipated clash against Pakistan on Sunday, there is a massive rain threat looming around. The ‘Men in Blue’ already witnessed a washout in the World Cup 2019 when they were to face New Zealand a few days ago. India is one of the two teams which is yet to be beaten in the tournament and sits on the fourth position at the moment with five points.

Their age-old rivalry against Pakistan revives yet again as Virat Kohli and his men look to make it a seventh consecutive World Cup win against the arch-rivals. With Shikhar Dhawan still not fit, the team has got to take a call about the new combination they’d like to field for the next game. There was no hint of it whatsoever in the last match as it had to be abandoned even without the toss.

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Here is the Predicted Playing XI for India:

Openers (Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul)

Rohit Sharma has been in great form this tournament. The Indian opener will have a bigger responsibility to fill in the absence of his regular partner Shikhar Dhawan. In the last two innings where he batted, Sharma has scored a century and a half-century. If he can see through the new ball, he is someone who is capable of getting a massive score.

For the first time in ODI cricket, KL Rahul will be opening with Rohit. Thus, proper understanding while running between the wickets will be the key. Rahul has done a decent job at four and has had a couple of good outings. But opening the innings in a new challenge altogether. While it isn’t new territory for him, he’s got to quickly adapt to the English conditions.

Middle Order (Virat Kohli (c), Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk))

After the slow start to the tournament, Virat Kohli caught up in the game against Australia with a fine 82. He is one of the most important batsmen in the Indian line-up and even his responsibility increases since Dhawan isn’t there. Moreover, he’s been leading the team really well and is doing a great job at setting the batsmen up with his tactics. Since there is a void created at number four, Vijay Shankar is likely to take it.

When he was picked in the squad, the selectors informed that he’d be the first choice for this batting position. But him getting injured just before the start of the tournament and KL Rahul scoring a century in the warm-up game has changed the plans slightly for the team. Shankar can also bowl a bit and adds a good balance to the team. MS Dhoni is likely to continue batting at number five. He has done a good job in England so far and will hold the key in the middle order.

All Rounders (Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya)

Thus far in the World Cup 2019, Kedar Jadhav hasn’t got an opportunity to bat. He did come out to the middle in the game against Australia. However, he didn’t get to face a ball as the stipulated overs got finished. Jadhav bowled a few overs with the ball but is yet to pick up a wicket. The 34-year-old, though, is likely to continue featuring in the playing eleven.

The management has used Hardik Pandya as a floater in the batting line-up. Pandya was sent in to bat at number four against Australia and he played an aggressive knock. With his being in the best batting form of his life, he will take up the role of a finisher. His economy rates with the ball seem to be a slight concern. But he has managed to pick up timely wickets.

Bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah)

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the most economical bowler in the Indian team in a high-scoring encounter against Australia. He did a fair job against South Africa as well and picked a total of 5 wickets in two completed outings. Thus, he will continue to be picked ahead of Mohammed Shami. Yuzvendra Chahal, considering the current form, should be the first-choice spinner in the side.

Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t been as effective so far in the tournament. While the management will not want to make amends to the winning combination, they might rope Shami if the conditions are favourable. Jasprit Bumrah will round this eleven up and has done a fair job so far. His role with the new ball as well as at the death will be critical.

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