Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

While the Asia Cup 2023 has already begun with the co-hosts Pakistan and Sri Lanka dominating their respective openers, Team India are scheduled to commence their campaign at the continental showpiece on September 2 against Babar Azam's Pakistan. Ahead of their opener, former India opener Gautam Gambhir criticised Shardul Thakur and suggested India play with an extra seamer instead of the 31-year-old all-rounder.

Considering the turning Sri Lankan pitch, India are expected to play two full-time pacers in the playing XI with the presence of all-rounders like Shardul Thakur, and Axar Patel. However, former India opener Gautam Gambhir believed that the Men in Blue should drop Thakur from the playing XI and instead play with an extra seamer.

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During the match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh on Thursday, Gambhir criticised Shardul Thakur and called him a "bits and pieces player". This comes two days ahead of India's opener against Pakistan in the Asia Cup 2023 at the  Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in  Balagolla, Sri Lanka.

Ahead of the highly-anticipated clash between the two arch-rivals India and Pakistan, the hosts' star pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi has suffered an injury which could prove to be a major blow for the Men in Green.  However, it is not clear whether Afridi has a severe injury or a niggle and the Pakistani camp is expecting Afridi's healthy return against India.