Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
Sunday 28 August, 15:00
TV: Live on Hotstar
India look likely to persist with Virat Kohli at No 3. It's a move which threatens their evolution as a T20 side, particularly when they have a ready-made replacement in Suryakumar Yadav.
Yadav may open the batting with skip Rohit Sharma, an axis which did okay in the Caribbean. If Kohli does play then Kl Rahul and Deepak Hooda are likely to miss out. Hardik Pandya and Ravi Jadeja are the two all-rounders which balance the XI.
There is no Jasprit Bumrah or Shardul Thakur so pace responsibility lies with Bhuv Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan.
Possible XI: Rohit, Yadav, Kohli, Pant, Hardik, Jadeja, Karthik, Kumar, Avesh, Arshdeep, Chahal
Pakistan suffered a major blow on the eve of the tournament with the news that Shaheen Shah Afridi is out of the tournament. He faces a race against time to be fit for the World Cup in October.
Luckily Pakistan are blessed with a host of pace options. Muhammad Hasnain has been called into the squad but Shahnawaz Dhani is most likely to play.
Pakistan rely on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan with the bat. The pair will be reasonably cautious in the context of the format, hoping to build a platform for explosive hitters in Asif Ali, Haider Ali and Khushdil Shah.
Mohammad Wasim is an injury doubt. He would be first-choice but if he's out Iftikhar may come in.
Possible XI: Babar, Rizwan, Fakhar, Haider, Khushdil, Asif, Shadab, Nawaz, Wasim, Rauf, Dhani
The pitch reports is the same as for Sri Lanka v Afghanistan. In the World T20 12 of the 13 matches were won by the side batting second so we are strong on the chaser. It is worth repeating that betting the chaser to one-point level stakes throughout this tournament is a recommendation. We staked 2.5 points on Afghanistan if they chased for example.
As for runs, only three of those games saw first-innings scores of more than 160 so runs par lines are likely to be a short. We will be betting the chaser at the break if they're going after up to 190. The par line is here here.
How to play
An Indo-Pak clash is one of the biggest betting events of the year. They are rare and special occasions, offering potential chaos and drama. The match odds disagree. India are 1.4640/85.
It is an extraordinarily short price. And one which makes little sense because the last time these sides met it was at this venue, Pakistan chased and thrashed their rivals by ten wickets.
There is no way the gulf is as big as the odds suggest. If Pakistan bat second we would be very surprised if they didn't win. We don't expect the match odds to alter much on the toss until the bias shows itself over a run of games. Bet the match odds.
Babar is boosted to 5/2 with Sportsbook for top Pakistan bat. He has a career win rate of 36% so there's more than seven points in our favour. He's 4/1 for top match bat, 20% implied probability. he wins that market 23% of the time.
Yadav might be a rick for India at 4/1. He could well open the batting. Rohit Sharma is boosted to 10/3 but he wins only 17% of the time. Kohli is 7/2. Bet the Sportsbook odds here.
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