India’s Asia Cup Squad Announcement Set for August 21st
Cricket Time Now: The announcement of India’s Asia Cup team is scheduled for August 21st. Rohit and Dravid will be part of that meeting, where they might also discuss preparing the team’s blueprint for the World Cup selection.
Will KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah be on the flight to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup? We’ll find out on Monday, August 21st, when a new Delhi meeting, chaired by Ajit Agarkar, convenes to select the senior men’s team.
It is understood that India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, will participate in the meeting through a video conference. Additionally, selector SS Das will accompany the second-string team on their Ireland tour, which currently involves a T20 series of three matches. Interestingly, head coach Rahul Dravid will also be present in his official capacity. Normally, coaches aren’t part of selection meetings.
Rohit’s involvement is crucial since they might deliberate on the team’s blueprint for the World Cup selection. While September 5 is the ICC’s deadline to submit the draft squad, the selection panel is believed to want to finalize the same set of 15 players for both competitions. The chosen squad, along with a few standby players, will assemble in Bangalore for a six-day camp before departing for Colombo.
Rahul and Iyer’s fitness statuses could be a major talking point, especially since BCCI is waiting for NCA’s final clearance. These two players are currently in Bangalore, where they are undergoing match simulations and practice matches spanning 50 overs each to prepare for cricket’s longer format.
It’s understood that Iyer was quite diligent in the initial practice game of this week, spending significant time at the crease and playing till the end for a score of 38 runs without any trouble. Rahul, who missed that game, is expected to line up alongside Shreyas Iyer for the second practice game on Sunday.
Rahul’s fitness is crucial as it ties into resolving India’s Wicket-Keeping issue, especially with Rishabh Pant still recovering from serious injuries sustained in a car accident in December. If chosen, Rahul might bat at number 5 and also take up Wicket-Keeping duties. Otherwise, Ishan Kishan is the next in line for the Wicket-Keeper’s role in this Asia Cup Squad . Kishan’s selection could also lead to some shuffling in the batting order. This is something that several former cricketers, including ex-head coach Ravi Shastri, strongly sensed.
In the meantime, Iyer’s fitness could be pivotal in resolving the debate for the number 4 slot. This situation was a thorn in India’s side during the 2019 World Cup when MSK Prasad-led selection committee favored Ambati Rayudu over Vijay Shankar, who was named India’s designated number 4 batsman for most of the competition. Ultimately, Shankar’s injury paved the way for Pant’s late inclusion in the team.
In Iyer’s absence, India recently experimented with Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, and Akshar Patel at the number 4 position during their Caribbean tour. Suryakumar, India’s T20I Vice-Captain, acknowledged that he wasn’t able to make the most of his chances there and it’s believed that the team management is trying him out as a finisher.
During this period, Bumrah made his comeback in international cricket in Dublin on Friday during a player-of-the-match attempt. Bumrah took 2 wickets for 24 runs, marking his return after 11 months to international cricket. Another key component of India’s World Cup plans, the renowned bowler Krishna, also made a splendid return by grabbing two wickets.
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India’s Asia Cup campaign begins against Pakistan on September 2nd, followed by a match against Nepal on September 4th. Both matches will be played in Pallekele, and the top two teams from the group will advance to the Super 4 stage, where they’ll play three more matches.
After the Asia Cup, India will also play three ODIs against Australia in Chennai on October 8th, as part of their preparation for the World Cup campaign.
India’s Expected Asia Cup squad 2023:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson*, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal*, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Siraj