The Highly Anticipated India vs Pakistan Clash Hangs in the Balance
Weather Conditions and Toss Prediction
The highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan has been hanging in the balance due to unpredictable weather conditions. As of Saturday morning, the likelihood of a complete washout seems unlikely. According to AccuWeather, there is a 40-60% chance of rain during the toss, but the weather is expected to improve as the day progresses. According to the current conditions, the toss is expected to happen on time at 2.30 pm.
Gloomy Conditions and Positive Signs
Over the past two days, Pallekele has been shrouded in gloomy conditions, with ominous dark clouds overhead. Although rain has stayed away since Thursday, the Saturday evening forecast initially appeared grim, with a 90% chance of rain predicted until 6 pm. However, since Friday evening, both the city of Kandy and its nearby neighbour, Pallekele, located just a half-hour drive away, have not received any rainfall.
On Saturday, strong winds began sweeping the dark clouds away, creating the brightest morning since Wednesday. According to local observations, such a sight typically indicates passing showers lasting only half an hour to an hour. In such circumstances, teams often consider the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method when deciding to bat or bowl after winning the toss. However, the decision may not be straightforward, given the pitch’s slower nature and the challenges of scoring under evening lights. In the first match played here, despite overcast conditions, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and chose to bat first but struggled midway, getting all out for 163.
Team Preparation and Ground Conditions
India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, mentioned that the team has been closely monitoring the conditions, acknowledging the various challenges posed by the pitch conditions. He highlighted the importance of adapting to the situation, especially in a 50-over format, as compared to the more explosive nature of T20 cricket.
Both the Indian and Pakistani teams conducted their training sessions on Friday evening, and after the practice session concluded, the ground staff covered the entire ground. In such a scenario, even in the event of a rain delay, there are promising prospects for the match to resume relatively quickly.
Head-to-Head Record and Qualification
In head-to-head encounters in the Asia Cup, India holds a 7-5 record against Pakistan, with only one previous match being affected by weather conditions. With Pakistan already securing a victory against Nepal, even if this match is cancelled due to rain, India still has a chance to advance, having another match left to play. The top two teams from the group will qualify for the Super 4s, which will be held in Colombo.
Where to Watch
Star Sports Television will be broadcasting the India vs Pakistan match live and it will be available on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Sports 1 Hindi HD, Star Sports 1 Tamil SD + HD, Star Sports 1 Telugu SD+HD, Star Sports 1 Kannada channels. Fans can also catch a live stream on the Disney Hotstar+ app and website for free.
Team India Squad
Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, K L Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Tilak Varma, Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan (wk), Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah.
Team Pakistan Squad
Babar Azam (c), Muhammad Tayyab Tahir, Abdullah Shafique, Imam Ul Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Agha Salman, Faheem Ashraf, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim, Muhammad Haris (wk), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, and Haris Rauf.