In the ongoing Asia Cup 2023, India once again found themselves without their full-strength, first-choice team for the anticipated clash against Pakistan in the Super 4 round. The absence of Shreyas Iyer due to injury left fans disappointed and concerned about India’s chances. Shreyas Iyer, who was originally slated to play in the game, suffered a back spasm during the warm-up session just before the match in Colombo.
This sudden setback forced India to swiftly bring in KL Rahul as a replacement, with the responsibility of batting at number 4. It’s worth noting that KL Rahul himself was returning from a thigh injury, making his inclusion a gamble. Initially, the team management had chosen Ishan Kishan to be in the playing XI, a decision that seemed justified given his remarkable record of scoring four consecutive fifties in ODI innings, including one against Pakistan in his previous outing.
However, when Shreyas Iyer’s back spasm struck moments before the toss, India had to change their plans and insert KL Rahul at the number 4 spot. This last-minute shuffle can be observed in the team sheet circulating on social media, where Shreyas Iyer was listed as number 4, KL Rahul as number 13, and Suryakumar Yadav as number 12.
But with Iyer’s injury, Rahul stepped in while Suryakumar remained on the sidelines, and Ishan Kishan retained his position as the wicket-keeper. The untimely injury to Shreyas Iyer, who was already on the road to recovery from a previous back surgery, is undoubtedly a cause for concern for India, especially with less than a month remaining before the World Cup 2023.
This unexpected setback adds uncertainty to India’s preparations for the upcoming global cricketing event. In the match, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam won the toss and chose to field first, setting the stage for what promises to be a thrilling encounter between the two arch-rivals.
The playing XI for both teams is as follows:
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan (w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Pakistan (Playing XI): Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf