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Asia Cup 2022

Wisden writers pick their India XIs for the Asia Cup 2022 clash against Pakistan

What should the India XI look like for their clash against Pakistan?
by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

India will take on Pakistan in their opening fixture of the 2022 Asia Cup on August 28. Five Wisden writers pick their India XIs of choice for the blockbuster Sunday clash.

India have been in sparkling T20I form lately: since Rohit Sharma took over as full-time captain, they have not lost a single bilateral series. Given the form they’re in, India would hope that that culminates in another Asia Cup triumph. They have selected a near full-strength side for the tournament, meaning that there are several possible combinations they could opt for.

Five Wisden writers pick their XI for the Asia Cup clash against Pakistan on August 28.


Shashwat Kumar, Wisden India Content Executive

Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal

There is a very minute chance of this happening, but this is what I feel the eleven should look like. Virat Kohli is the most notable absentee because other players seem better suited at this point. Rohit and Rahul will open the innings, with the latter being given the license to express himself and reprise his role from IPL 2018. Pant and Suryakumar offer flexibility in the middle order, Karthik remains unparalleled as a finisher and Jadeja and Pandya are certainties because of their all-round abilities.

The bowling unit, sans Jasprit Bumrah, selects itself. Avesh and Bhuvneshwar are excellent new-ball operators. Arshdeep has been brilliant at the death recently and in Chahal, they have a genuine wicket-taking option. Ravichandran Ashwin adds batting depth, but if India are to go deep into this tournament, they need bowlers capable of picking wickets in different phases.

Shubham Pandey, Wisden India Social Media Manager

Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal

It’ll be the first time India face Pakistan since the heartbreaking defeat in Dubai during the T20 World Cup last year. Rohit Sharma’s side has dominated white-ball cricket after changing their batting approach this year, and expectations are understandably high.

I would personally prefer Virat Kohli to open instead of KL Rahul because of the latter’s batting approach in T20 cricket and his concerns over fitness. Deepak Hooda and Ravindra Jadeja will be my spin-bowling all-rounders who can play the role of fifth and sixth bowler respectively. Dinesh Karthik also makes the cut to play the role of finisher. India’s bowling unit suffered a setback with Jasprit Bumrah’s injury, but it might be the stage where Arshdeep properly announces his arrival.

Sarah Waris, Wisden India staff writer

Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh

The big miss is Virat Kohli. There was a toss-up between KL Rahul and Kohli in the XI – the side should ideally not have the duo playing together – but the latter misses out due to his recent issues and his struggles against both pace and spin bowling.

Deepak Hooda has been very impressive. He can bat at the top, in the middle and can be the finisher, besides bowling a few handy overs in the UAE. Dinesh Karthik is the high risk-high reward kind of player, and though he might misfire on certain occasions, he’s also someone who can win India games on his own.

Aadya Sharma, Wisden India Editor

Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh

Apologies in advance for playing safe and choosing a boring XI. Rohit and KL – the two best openers on paper – open, with Kohli back at No.3, hoping to get out of his rut. Surya, Rishabh and Hardik follow – there’s little to debate there – after which Karthik comes in as finisher. I was tempted to bring in Hooda, but found it difficult to get DK’s finishing brilliance in the IPL out of my head.

Jadeja and Chahal are easy picks for the spin section, while Bhuvneshwar is assisted by Arshdeep Singh, whose cutters could come in handy in Dubai. With Hardik Pandya there as well, the pace attack seems adequate.

Abhishek Mukherjee, Wisden India Content Head

Rohit Sharma (c), Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh

India are likely to stick to their policy of no-holds-barred hitting at the top. While Rohit Sharma has adapted to that strategy, neither Virat Kohli nor KL Rahul did not, in this season’s IPL. One or both of them may play, but that would mean displacing one of an excellent band of seven hitters. On form and current approach, India can go in with Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, and Ravindra Jadeja to back their captain.

Among bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and – in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel – Arshdeep Singh are almost certain to play. Dubai can be a slow turner or a seamer’s pitch. If it is the former, R Ashwin is likelier to get a call-up ahead of Ravi Bishnoi; if it is the latter, India may back Avesh Khan.

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