Deep Dasgupta Writes: India Needs Rohit Sharma’s New Template Against Pakistan

The blockbuster of all the clashes is here as the Men in Blue are set to take on Pakistan in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 on Saturday, October 14, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Both cricket pundits and enthusiasts are hoping to see some breathtaking action as Rohit Sharma’s blokes play Babar Azam’s hombres on Saturday. 

The India vs Pakistan match promises to be a blockbuster as both teams are coming to play this game after winning their previous matches. Pakistan registered a brilliant run chase of 345, a record one in the history of World Cup cricket. They are in perfect form. The Indian team has also had an impeccable run so far in the tournament — wins against Australia and Afghanistan completely showed their character. Looking from an Indian perspective, they have ticked all the boxes right. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli had a great time in the middle, and Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan also looked good. So, a lot of positives coming from the Indian lineup. 

Roaring Rohit

Rohit’s century was very very crucial in the previous clash against Afghanistan. What I really liked about Rohit is that he is leading from the front in terms of tempo. If you guys have noticed, Rohit’s template has changed. Earlier, he would take his time but now he goes hard against the bowlers from the very first ball and the same approach he wants from the other batters as well. He has been given a brisk start to the Indian innings, scoring runs at a good strike rate. His strike rate post the last T20 World Cup, he has completely changed his approach. He wants the other batter to play a little more freely without taking any pressure and without the fear of failure. 

Gill’s Availability

Shubman Gill missed out in Delhi but he has joined the team in Ahmedabad. He went to bat in the nets for close to 30 minutes and was looking good. He looks alright but then you have to be match fit in order to play the 50-over format. If he misses the game against Pakistan, it will give him a few extra days to recover as illnesses bring a lot of weakness and for someone like Gill, he could be fielding for 50 overs, batting for like say 30-40 overs, so he has to prove his fitness and get back his 100%. I do not know the current situation but I hope they will not rush him to play this game. 

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India Vs Afridi And Rauf

Against Pakistan, the biggest challenge for the Indian batters is to tackle their pace attack. The likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Haris Rauf are the top-notch bowlers in the world. But then both the bowlers have not plied their trades to the best of their abilities. Rauf has gone for plenty in the last game of Pakistan, while Afridi also looked ordinary. Despite winning their last two matches, I think they still have some questions unanswered. Without any doubt, Babar Azam is a class act but then he has struggled to get runs as of now. 

As far as the pitch of the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is concerned, it is a good wicket to bat on. I think it should be a high-scoring affair and I am hoping to see 1,30,000 people as the 12th man for the Indian team. 

Deep Dasgupta Playing XI: Rohit Sharma(c), Ishan Kishan/Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur/Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.