Despite overcast skies and the threat of rain, India won the toss and decided to bat against arch rivals Pakistan. Babar Azam said Pakistan would also have batted first had they won the toss.
India went for the option of a seam bowler who can bat at No. 8, which meant Shardul Thakur pipped Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Shami to a spot in the XI. Ishan Kishan, getting a couple of more opportunities as KL Rahul recovers from a niggle, was slated to bat at No. 3 in the team list shared by the BCCI with Virat Kohli moving down to No. 4. Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer made their much-awaited ODI comebacks after recovering from back surgeries.
After a huge win against Nepal in the tournament opener, Pakistan had announced an unchanged XI a day before the match.
This was the first ODI between the two traditional rivals since their clash in the 2019 World Cup. This contest may not have huge significance in the context of the Asia Cup as two out of three teams from each group make it into the Super Fours. The third team in India and Pakistan’s group is Nepal.
Even though Pakistan are the official hosts of the tournament, the Indian government didn’t allow the team to travel to Pakistan, which meant the contest had to take place at a neutral venue: Pallekele in Sri Lanka.
India 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Ishan Kishan (wk), 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Pakistan 1 Fakhar Zaman, 2 Imam-ul-Haq, 3 Babar Azam (capt), 4 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 5 Agha Salman, 6 Iftikhar Ahmed, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Shaheen Shah Afridi, 10 Naseem Shah, 11 Haris Rauf