Toss: India chose to bowl v Pakistan
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Ajinkya Rahane came in for an injured Shikhar Dhawan in India’s only change © AFP
On a pitch that had a “bit more grass” than India’s opening game at the Asia Cup, MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bowl. That went down fine with the Pakistan camp because Shahid Afridi, about to complete 20 years in international cricket, said all the discussions among their team after having seen the pitch in Mirpur was about batting first.
India had to make one forced change with Shikhar Dhawan nursing a niggle. Ajinkya Rahane came in to take his place at the top of the order. The rest of the XI that played Bangladesh on Wednesday retained their places.
Afridi will take on the duties of the lead spin bowler for Pakistan after going in with “four genuine fast bowlers.” They are Mohammad Sami, who last played for Pakistan in May 2015, and the left-arm trio of Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir.
Batsman Khurram Manzoor earned himself a T20I debut on the back of some good recent form. He struck a century against England Lions in January, prior to which he had made back-to-back tons in the domestic one-day competition. Sharjeel Khan, who hit the only century of the recently-concluded PSL, is likely to open the batting.
India: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Ashish Nehra
Pakistan: Khurram Manzoor, 2 Sharjeel Khan, 3 Mohammad Hafeez, 4 Umar Akmal, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), 7 Shahid Afridi (capt), 8 Mohammad Sami, 9 Wahab Riaz, 10 Mohammad Amir, 11 Mohammad Irfan
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo