The contents of the team sheet in Rohit Sharma’s hands would perhaps be the most talked-about thing when he walks out for the toss against Pakistan ahead of India's first match of the Asia Cup.
The face-off between the arch-rivals – rare because of the political tension between the two countries – and the Asia Cup in general, are being viewed as crucial prep for the ICC men’s ODI World Cup, which will start in October.
Injuries to key Indian players have hogged the limelight in the build up to the tournament. With Sharma’s regular opening partner K.L. Rahul out with a “niggle” and undergoing rehab, the dynamic wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan is expected to take up his place. The flamboyant Kishan is not a true-blue opener like Rahul, who is more watchful and careful in the first few overs, but he has proven useful both at the top and in the middle-order.
Shreyas Iyer, meanwhile, has also returned to the side post injury and is likely to settle the crucial number 4 debate. Unless Virat Kohli and the team management have other plans.
The return of Iyer puts a question mark on Suryakumar Yadav’s place who has struggled to repeat his big-hitting and match-winning form of T2oIs in the ODIs.
In the bowling department, the return of Jasprit Bumrah would be a huge relief but the slinger is returning after a long injury-break, and, though, he performed well in the T20Is against Ireland recently, it remains to be seen how his body will cope with the 50-over format.