India is set to face Pakistan for the second time in Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday, September 4, 2022, at the Dubai International Stadium. While India has won both of their matches in the continental tournament, fans have been vocal about the spot of vice-captain KL Rahul, who seems far from his original self in the ongoing event.

KL Rahul missed a major part of 2022 due to a sports hernia, which led to surgery and a COVID-19 infection. He was originally picked for India’s tour to the West Indies, however, could not join up with the squad for the COVID-19 infection. However, he was picked in India’s ODI squad against Zimbabwe ahead of the Asia Cup in August and was handed the captaincy role.

Also Read: India vs Pakistan at Asia Cup 2022 Super 4: Who will replace Ravindra Jadeja?

Rahul was also picked in India’s Asia Cup 2022 squad, which surprised many. Granted, he has delivered sublime performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but it still does not change the fact that he had played less than five T20I matches in 2022 ahead of Asia Cup 2022. He was also handed the vice-captaincy role in the Asia Cup, for a team that, apart from regular captain Rohit Sharma, has tried Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli (former captain).

Rahul has been underwhelming, to say the least, in the Asia Cup 2022. He was dismissed for a duck against Pakistan and scored 36 off 39 balls against Hong Kong, which many dubbed as ODI, or even Test batting.

On the other hand, Rishabh Pant has been among India’s best batters in the last year. However, his role as an opener seems to be limited. He opened in T20I matches against England in July, scoring 26 off 15 balls in one, and 1 off 5 balls in another. He played in the middle order against South Africa and did not play against Sri Lanka.

However, India can deploy Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as the opening partnership, making Suryakumar Yadav play in no. 3 and Pant in no.4 before Hardik Pandya and one of Dinesh Karthik/Axar Patel/Deepak Hooda comes on in no.5 and 6.

Also Read: India vs Pakistan in Asia Cup 2022 Super 4: Records, statistics and pitch report

This will help Pant showcase his original batting style and let Suryakumar Yadav be as aggressive as he wants to be. Several experts and former players, including Gautam Gambhir, have called for putting Yadav in no.3 instead of Kohli, and it could prove to be a brilliant plan for India against Pakistan on Sunday.

“I say that Surya needs to bat at three. I think it is very very important. I think we need to do something differently,” Gambhir told Star Sports.

“Give him more deliveries to play. He’s going to win you more games by batting at No.3 compared to batting No.4 or No.5,” he added.