KANDY: India skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat against Pakistan with the threat of rain looming over the blockbuster Asia Cup match on Saturday.
Intermittent rain all through the morning has kept ground staff on their feet in Pallekele, where a thin crowd is watching the hotly anticipated 50-over match in a preamble to next month’s ODI World Cup.
The sun peeked through the clouds during the toss and Rohit said India, who play their opening match of the tournament, were ready to “embrace the challenge.”
Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah returns to the ODI team alongside Shreyas Iyer, who is also back from injury. India will play with three seamers and two spinners.
Babar Azam’s Pakistan crushed Asia Cup debutants Nepal in the tournament opener early this week and named an unchanged team on Friday for the key group contest against their arch-rivals.
Azam said he would have also batted first had he won the toss.
The match is the first of potentially three tournament clashes between the two giants of Asian cricket.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (cap), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.