Team India will resume their encounter against Pakistan in the Super Fours stage of the Asia Cup 2023 on the reserve day after rain played spoilsport on Sunday.
Openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill both scored half-centuries as they gave India a rollicking start with a partnership of 121 runs. Pakistan did make a comeback by sending both the openers back in quick succession.
But rain ensured that no further play was possible with the score being 147/2 and Virat Kohli and KL Rahul remaining unbeaten. Play will resume from the same point with 24.1 overs bowled and here are three things India need to get right if they want to beat Pakistan:
#3 Kohli, Rahul have to get going straight away
India had all the momentum with them yesterday when Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were smashing bowlers for fun. It seemed like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul had a solid platform to build on, but the rain had other ideas.
While the duo will need to look at it as a fresh start as they will need to set themselves first on a new day, it is also crucial for both Kohli and Rahul to ensure they do not get stuck at the crease.
Rahul played out a maiden over from Shadab Khan on Sunday, something the Men in Blue cannot afford especially when the leg-spinner was having an off day. They need to set the tone for the rest to follow by batting at a higher tempo.
#2 Ishan, Hardik, and Jadeja need to show the power game
Both Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya had a slightly different role to play the last time the two teams faced. They got together at the crease with India in deep trouble. However, this time around, the openers have given a platform and they would need to bring a different version of their game to the table.
They need to ensure that the fall of wickets doesn’t affect their scoring rate as it looked like a good batting pitch. The aim would be to score in excess of 300 and for that to happen, Ishan, Hardik and Ravindra Jadeja will need to be more explosive from the get-go, knowing they may not get enough time to settle.
#1 India need to make early inroads with the new ball
If India manage to post a target in excess of 300, then the onus of chasing it down would be a lot on the Pakistan top order. Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam have been in incredible form of late and the Men in Blue need to ensure they don’t let them get away with a good start.
Pakistan’s batting may not start under the lights with 24 overs already bowled in the first innings and that could help them as there will be a lot less swing. This makes it even more important for the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj to strike early and set the tone for the Men in Blue.