On a pitch that had “more grass” than India’s opening diversion at the Asia Cup, MS Dhoni won the toss and picked to bowl. That ran down fine with the Pakistan camp because Shahid Afridi, going to finish 20 years in global cricket, said every one of the talks among their team subsequent to having seen the pitch of Mirpur was about batting first.
India had to make one forced change with Shikhar Dhawan nursing a niggle. Ajinkya Rahane comes in to take his place at the top of the order. The rest of the XI that played Bangladesh on Wednesday retained their places.
Afridi will take on the duties of the lead spin bowler for Pakistan after going in with “four genuine fast bowlers.” They are Mohammad Sami, who last played for Pakistan in May 2015, and the left-arm trio of Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir.
Batsman Khurram Manzoor earned himself a T20I debut on the back of some good recent form. He struck a century against England Lions in January, prior to which he had made back-to-back tons in the domestic one-day competition. Sharjeel Khan, who hit the PSL’s first and only three-figure score so far, is likely to open the batting. Both men will have their tasks cut out on this Mirpur deck, however, which both captains agreed would deck around at the start