Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Pakistan thrashed minnows Hong Kong on Friday to make it into the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup where they will play arch-rivals India on Sunday.

This will be the second match between both the teams in a matter of seven days. The buzz about the match among the cricket buffs across the globe is palpable. Meanwhile, there are massive speculations over the playing XI of Men in Blue. Fans and cricket experts are thinking about different permutations and combinations about the team composition.

It is certain that in-form and utility all-rounder Hardik Pandya will come back into the playing XI. He was the star performer against Pakistan and was rested for the match against Hong Kong. His return into the playing XI will give a good balance to the team.

Rishabh Pant is most likely to make way for Hardik. It would be interesting to see who gets picked up in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja. The all-rounder has been ruled out of the ongoing tournament due to right knee injury. Speculations are rife that there would be a toss-up between Deepak Hooda and Ravi Ashwin. Some experts are also of the view that Axar Patel will be the right replacement for Jadeja.

India’s predicted XI: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Deepak Hooda/Ravi Ashwin/ Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.