No words between India and Pakistan players during net session, MS Dhoni and Ashish Nehra skip
There was a telling sight to be seen in the practice sessions of the India and Pakistan cricket teams on Friday – the two sets of players were having their drills together, separated by very little distance, but there were no pleasantries or greetings exchanged.
MS Dhoni and Ashish Nehra were the only two Indian players who were not part of the session at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium. Dhoni skipped the session because he is struggling with back spasms, but is likely that he will play the match with the injury, given the momentous occasion of an India-Pakistan encounter.
Parthiv Patel did not get a chance at the main nets, another indication that Dhoni is in line for the blockbuster clash in the Asia Cup on Saturday. Nehra was not part of the drills because his training regimen is different from the rest of the team’s.
All players from Pakistan participated. The session went on from 4 pm to 6:30 pm, but in the entire duration, there was not one joke shared between two camps. This is a far cry from the days when India and Pakistan players were known to be close personal friends despite their fierce on-field enmity with each other.
Possible XIs, tension of an India-Pakistan match
The tension surrounding an India-Pakistan match has always been high, but there is also an air of bitterness this time around – a bitterness that is hopefully quashed when the players come out on the field and treat fans to an even nail-biting match.
The 2015 bilateral series between the two countries was finally canceled after several postponements, and the political situation between the two countries is also at an ebb.
There are as many as six Pakistan players who have never been involved in a match against India. From the Indian side, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Pawan Negi are the three players who have not had a taste of a Pakistan match yet.
Pakistan’s pace attack of Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Amir can reach a lot of sorrow to the Indian team, given the bouncy nature of the pitches seen in the Asia Cup. Mohammad Sami has a chance of playing as well. Mohammad Nawaz and Sharjeel Khan may be given a place in the XI on the basis of their stellar shows in the Pakistan Super League.
The Men in Blue, however, are on a great run of form in T20s and have no reason to change the winning combination.