India and Pakistan are among the hot favorites in the race to clinch the Asia Cup title that’s about to commence in a small interval. The duo’s arch rivalry would probably be on a different horizon, considering they’d be competing against each other after a gap of one solid year, with their last meet being the 2017 Champions Trophy final where Pakistan emerged victorious after smashing the hopes of a highly energetic Indian lineup. Since them, both units have gone from strength to strength, to the extent of being termed as one of the top contenders for both Asia Cup and 2019 World Cup battles. Here’s a look at the India-Pakistan combined XI which could give you a brief information about the top players from both units who will be the reasons for their team’s success in the upcoming duels.
India-Pakistan combined XI for Asia Cup 2018
The Pakistani sensation is one of the prolific run-getters in the present juncture of World cricket. The 28-year-old is already hailed as one of finest prospects to have emerged from the Asian subcontinent. For someone who has already amassed 1,000+ runs in 18 ODIs at an average of 76.07 with 3 hundreds and 6 fifties to his name, the task of ripping apart even the most ferocious opening bowlers becomes a piece of cake.
The Indian hitman averages 50+ as an opener in the limited overs cricket would be someone whom the team would rely upon when under nerve-wracking situations. His presence at the top order adds invaluable strength to the Indian unit and considering there won’t be a Virat Kohli to back the unit when under distress, it all comes down to Rohit Sharma’s play in the Asia Cup battles that would determine the success or the failure of the team in the Asia Cup battles.
There’s a high probability that the Karnataka lad would be donning the number 3 position in the upcoming Asia Cup contests. Rahul, who averages 32.12 in the 12 ODIs he has played till date will have to level up his performance at any expense if he wishes to see himself in the squad for 2019 World Cup contests.
The 23-year-old is regarded as Pakistan’s reply to Virat Kohli in terms of the batting finesse. An average of 54.80 in 46 ODIs with 8 centuries and 7 half-centuries, one could estimate the potential that lies within. His potential would be put to test in the match against India which consists of players of the likes of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
Malik has been one of Pakistan’s most reliable cricketers for the last two decades. In 266 ODIs, he has amassed 7,015 runs at an average of 35.08 with 9 hundreds and 40 fifties to his name. With the ball, he has picked up 156 scalps at an economy of 4.64 and a career-best figure of 19/4 in the games played to date. His presence in the India-Pakistan combined XI is a testament of the match-winning prowess he possesses in the limited overs cricket.
The veteran of 321 games is a default entrant into the India-Pakistan combined XI. It would be a crime to omit the all-time Indian legend from the playing XI. His ability to switch gears when under the gruesome situations and prance hard like a lion onto the opposition spearhead is something the Indian cricket fans may get to witness in the present edition of Asia Cup.
Hardik’s inclusion into the India-Pakistan combined XI could be a debatable subject, considering he hasn’t been at his best since past couple of series. But, one musn’t forget the fact that Hardik’s presence is a must if India is to win the 2018 Asia Cup contests. His all-round prowess would come handy on numerous occasions throughout the competition in helping India getting an edge over the opponents.
The swing specialist is 10 wickets short of reaching the legendary landmark of 100 wickets in the white-ball cricket. For someone of Bhuvaneshwar’s caliber, the art of toying with the opposition batsman becomes all the more easy, something which could contribute immensely to the team’s victory.
The Pakistani spearhead is one of the finest prospects in the World of cricket. His ability to dismiss even the fiercest of the batsmen without even breaking a sweat is something his team would look forward to during the Asia Cup battles, especially during the game against India.
Chahal is one of those spinners whom you could vouch upon during moments of intense situations, as he’s the solitary player in the entire Indian bowling lineup whose well-versed in the art of drying up the run rate when needed. He’s already picked up 45 wickets in 26 ODIs, and with his present run, one could expect him to cross the 50 wicket mark in the games to come.
India’s toe-crushing yorker specialist is already India’s go-to man when it comes to decimating the top-order batsmen during the powerplay deliveries. The 24-year-old has already picked up 64 scalps in 37 ODIs and appears to be in no mood to mellow down in the forthcoming games.