India captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bowl against Pakistan in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup 2022 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. The 35-year-old, announcing the team combination, said that the Men in Blue have gone with seven batters, one all-rounder and three bowlers. 

Mohammed Shami was picked ahead of Harshal Patel for the crucial tie. Ravichandran Ashwin came in and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was out of India’s playing 11. 

India’s bowling attack: Hardik Pandya(all-rounder), Axar Patel (left-arm spin), Ravichandran Ashwin (right-arm spin), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (seam), Mohammed Shami (seam), Arshdeep Singh (seam). 

Heading into the World Cup in Australia, India’s biggest concern was death bowling. With Jasprit Bumrah out, the team got Mohammed Shami in. The pacers leaked runs in the final overs in the T20I series ahead of the tournament. 

Considering, Bhuvi will bowl a major chunk of his spell at the start, Shami and Arshdeep will have to deliver in the death. 

Arshdeep is the most inexperienced player in India’s squad, with 13 T20 Internationals under his belt. He can, however, deliver yorkers in the last four overs. 

In the only over Shami bowled during the warm-up games, India dismissed four Australia batters. His last over won the Men in Blue a crunch match. 

If the two bowl at least two over each in the final overs, Hardik Pandya will need to manage the middle overs. Ravichandran Ashwin could get one odd over in the powerplay. 

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Pakistan (Playing XI): Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah