Asia Cup 2022: The game for which there had been a build-up for a month finally got kicked off on Sunday evening in Dubai: India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 encounter. Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and, unsurprisingly, elected to bowl first.
Rohit announced one big decision of excluding Rishabh Pant in favour of the veteran finisher Dinesh Karthik, while Babar Azam, the Pakistani skipper, announced Nassem Shah will be making his T20I debut today.
Here’s why Pakistani players are wearing black armbands today:
Another thing which everyone noticed about the Pakistani players and staff was that all of them were sporting black armbands above their elbows.
With these black armbands, the Pakistani players are expressing their solidarity with the flood victims back home in Pakistan.
In the past month, large regions in Pakistani have been hit and destructed by major floods leading to massive devastation of all kinds with hundreds losing their lives. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Balochistan and Sindh province regions, from where some Pakistani cricketers come from, have been worst affected by the floods.
India drop Rishabh Pant, Rohit elects to bowl first
Speaking of the match, this is the first meeting between the two arch-rivals since Pakistan’s 10-wicket victory over Virat Kohli’s team at the T20 World Cup last year, incidentally in Dubai.
However, under the new management of skipper Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid the team is looking much stronger. India have not lost a single T20I series since the T20 World Cup last year.
Rohit Sharma won the toss in Dubai today and chose to field first. Rohit dropped the shocking news that Rishabh Pant – India’s international leading run-scorer since last year and this year – has been dropped. The management instead preferred Dinesh Karthik, who has been in brilliant form since the IPL 2022 and has made a comeback to the Indian team at the age of 37 in the role of a finisher.
Rohit Sharma said that there was a direct shootout between Pant and Karthik and the team management picked the latter; Sharma also said that Pant was misfortunate to miss out, but admitted that’s that of the team selection.
“Honestly, I don’t think the toss is that important, we are just here to play good cricket. We’ve played here in the IPL, so hopefully the pitch will be good. It was a tough call we had to take between playing Dinesh and Rishabh, Rishabh sadly misses out. And Avesh makes it as the third seamer. This is an important game for us, but as cricketers we don’t want to think about the opposition, we just want to correct whatever mistakes we are doing. We are bowling first,” Rohit said at the toss.
Pakistan (Playing XI): Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Dinesh Karthik(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh