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IND vs NEP Asia Cup 2023 Preview: Top-order Under Spotlight as India Look to Seal Super Four Spot – News18

Team India will aim at booking a Super Four berth when they take the field in the second group-stage game of the Asia Cup 2023 on Monday. Coming from a washed-out affair against Pakistan, the men in blue will face a bruised and battered Nepal at Pallekele Stadium. With one point in their kitty, India will look to secure a convincing win against the neighbours and cruise into the next round of the ongoing tournament.

Asia Cup 2023 Full Schedule | Asia Cup 2023 Complete Results | Asia Cup 2023 Full Coverage

India received some encouraging signals from their match against Pakistan and they would want to build on them ahead of the business end of this tournament. Even if the clash with Nepal gets affected by rain, India can still advance to the Super Fours with two points. Pakistan have already qualified for the next round.

What: India vs Nepal Asia Cup 2023 Group A match

When: September 4, Monday

Where: Pallekele International Stadium

Start Time: 3:00 PM IST

Team News: India

Pakistan pacers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf had reduced India to 66 for 4 by the 15th over. At that point, India’s worries might have been accentuated by the fact that they have a jelly middle-order.

Ishan Kishan was playing the first match of his career at No. 5 in ODIs and Hardik Pandya never really fitted the bill of a firefighter. However, both Kishan and Pandya overcame their personal predicaments to amass 138 runs for the fifth wicket, the cornerstone of India’s eventual 266.

So, there was that hint of doubt about whether Kishan would be able to make the necessary adjustments to his batting and approach to suit the No. 5 slot. He excelled on both counts. As a top-order batter, Kishan was susceptible to pacers who could move the ball around.

Rauf, Afridi and Naseem Shah tested his fortitude but for once Kishan showed that he can offer a scratch.

Similarly, the management will also welcome the composure Pandya showed while playing second fiddle to Kishan, and the seamless shifting of gears the all-rounder did after the left-hander’s dismissal. The adaptability and the no-egotistical methods of Pandya would have pleased the think-tank no end.

Even though the stuttering effort of their top four – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer – against Pakistan pacers could be treated as an aberration, the management would want them to get into ODI mode at the earliest.

Rohit and Kohli were rested for the ODIs against the West Indies, while Shreyas Iyer is making his return after an injury lay-off.

Team News: Nepal

Nepal might just give the trio the perfect opposition to earn some valuable game time and runs. However, the team top brass might be a tad disappointed because the bowlers never got a chance to test their skills against a quality opponent in Pakistan.

Nepal, who lost to Pakistan by 238 runs in the tournament opener, would be eager to mask their lack of cricketing pedigree with their enthusiasm.

Their biggest hope to make some impact in the match will be leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and captain Rohit Paudel. But in the real world, they will be more than happy to limit the damage to the minimum against a cricketing powerhouse like India.

Teams (from): India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Sanju Samson (travelling reserve).

Nepal: Rohit Paudel (captain), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pratish GC, Mousom Dhakal, Sundeep Jora, Kishore Mahato, Arjun Saud.

(With PTI Inputs)

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