Team India will take on Nepal in the match No. 5 of the Asia Cup 2023 at the Pallekele International Stadium in Kandy on Monday. It is the first-ever international match between the two sides and both sides will be eyeing a berth in the Super 4 stage of the tournament with a win on Monday night.
After their first match against Pakistan was washed out on Monday, the forecast for their next fixture against Nepal is not looking bright either with MET department predicting cloudy day with chances of thundershowers. The equation for both teams is simple – win on Monday and qualify for the Super 4. India can also qualify for the next stage even if their second match against Nepal is washed out and they get 1 point each as they will end up with 2 points from 2 matches and Nepal will have just 1 point from 2 matches.
Talking about the Indian playing 11, pacer Jasprit Bumrah has flown back to India ahead of birth of his first child with wife Sanjana Ganesan. Bumrah is expected to return to Sri Lanka should Team India qualify for the Super 4 stage.
Mohammed Shami is in pole position to replace Bumrah in the Playing 11 but skipper Rohit Sharma may also be keen to testing the fitness of pacer Prasidh Krishna, who like Bumrah made a comeback into international cricket during the T20I series against Ireland last month.
It will be interesting to see if India will give a chance to either Suryakumar Yadav or Tilak Varma against minnows Nepal after the top-order failed to fire against Pakistan in the opening match. Bhim Sharki is part of the squad as a reserve batter, but Nepal might stick to the same XI which lost by 238 runs to Pakistan in the first match of Asia Cup 2023 in Multan.
India Vs Nepal poster.
Hopefully the rain stays away! pic.twitter.com/d45tFEKOH7
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) September 3, 2023
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami/Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj
Nepal: Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh (wk), Rohit Paudel (c), Aarif Sheikh, Sompal Kami, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulsan Jha, Kushal Malla, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi