India Predicted XI vs PAK: Pant, Hooda or Axar, who will replace Jadeja?

India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2022 Super 4: Team India have dealt a big blow ahead of their Super 4 clash against arch-rivals Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 in Dubai on Sunday (September 4). Star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been ruled out due to knee injury and Rohit Sharma as well as head coach Rahul Dravid will be pondering about his possible replacements.3;

In the first clash against Pakistan last Sunday (August 28), wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was shockingly dropped while Dinesh Karthik played the game instead. In the Super 4 game, Pant will be one of the favourites to retain his place after playing against Hong Kong with Hardik Pandya being rested.

Pant, however, will face still competition from all-rounder Axar Patel. The Delhi Capitals left-arm spinner has been drafted into the side to replace Jadeja but it remains to be seen if Axar can bat as high up the order as Jadeja did at No. 4 to replace Pant.

The other option could be Deepak Hooda, who is primarily a top-order batter but can roll his arm over for a few overs. Hooda’s Lucknow Super Giants teammate and pacer Avesh Khan is also uncertain for the clash.

Dravid however did indicate that out of form pacer Avesh Khan is a bit under the weather and could miss Sunday’s game. “Avesh is feeling under the weather, fever and stuff, doctors managing him. Hopefully it’s not serious, okay for tomorrow or later part of the tournament,” Dravid said.

Team India could be tempted to bring in Ravichandran Ashwin to replace pacer Avesh. For the T20 World Cup 2022, Dravid said that Rishabh Pant isn’t the first choice keeper as there won’t be any pecking order for him and Dinesh Karthik.

The surprise package in their match against Pakistan was omission of Pant as the Rohit Sharma-led side preferred the experienced glovesman in Dinesh Karthik ahead of the flamboyant left-hander. “There’s no first choice wicketkeeper in the side… We play according to the conditions, situation, opposition and what we feel is the best XI. There’s no such a thing as first choice playing XI for every single condition. That will vary. On that day against Pakistan, we felt Dinesh was the right choice for us,” Dravid added.

India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant(wk), Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan/Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh

Pakistan: Mohammad Rizwan(wk), Babar Azam (c), Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hasnain/Hasan Ali, Naseem Shah