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Asia Cup 2023: What are takeaways from Team India squad?

Asia Cup 2023: The fact that some top players are making a comeback for the Asia Cup 2023 has helped Team India. The competition, which starts on August 30, will serve as a sort of training ground for the ICC World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to start on October 5 in India.

India will participate in the six-nation tournament that Pakistan and Sri Lanka will co-host. One of Team India’s final international contests before the ICC World Cup 2023 in October-November will be the Asia Cup 2023.

Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shreyas Iyer’s comeback to the ODI lineup has strengthened the Rohit Sharma-led team. The team will now have the chance to practise the lineups that they will probably use at the World Cup.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the squad which was announced on Monday.


Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul return to Team India 

Iyer and Rahul are returning for the Asia Cup squad, while Bumrah had previously made a comeback in the T20I series against Ireland. Due to their individual injuries, the pair lost out on playing cricket.

Iyer hasn’t played cricket since March due to back issues, while Rahul hasn’t played since May due to a thigh injury he sustained during the Indian Premier League.

The two players had recently participated in match simulation training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), where they were recovering from successful surgery.

Iyer is certain to enter the race because she has attained 100% fitness. Rahul of Karnataka, on the other hand, has a niggle unrelated to his prior injury and will be progressively reintroduced to the India lineup.

“Shreyas has been declared as completely fit. Rahul’s been suffering from a niggle over the last few days, which is unrelated to his original injury. That’s why Sanju [Samson] is travelling at the moment. But at some stage, we are all expecting him to be fit. If not at the start of the Asia Cup, maybe the second or the third game,” head of the BCCI’s Senior Men’s Selection Committee, Ajit Agarkar told the media while announcing the squad.


Fourth pacer option for Team India

Dinesh Karthik, the wicketkeeper for India, has questioned the viability of India’s fourth speed bowling option for the 2018 World Cup. With the exception of Hardik Pandya, it is highly likely that India’s team will only include four additional fast bowlers.

“Which fourth medium pacer is this? Jasprit (Bumrah), Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj are all present. We are certain of all three of these, but according to ICC, the veteran questioned, “Who will be the fourth?

It appears that India prefers Shardul Thakur and Prasidh Krishna as the fourth pace option given their selection for the Asia Cup.


What will Team India’s middle-order look like?

Rahul and Iyer, India’s usual ODI mainstays, are back, but Tilak Varma, a budding star, and Suryakumar Yadav, a T20I performer, have also been included in the squad.

India has had difficulty establishing a stable middle order, with the number four spot in particular showing a lack of certainty. They used three different hitters at the position in the three games of the recently finished ODI series against the West Indies.

India captain Rohit Sharma said that his batting unit needed to perform as a complete and stated that the upcoming matches were a fantastic chance for the batters to argue for the international competition.

“It is not about number four. It is about top three and then four, five, six, seven to get the job done. It is not just one position that can win us the game or the tournament. It is about the entire batting unit getting the job done,” Rohit said.

“We have got six and three, nine ODIs, plus the two practice games before we play our first game (in the World Cup). So we have got a lot of games, where these guys can bat and make this position their own,” he added.


Yuzvendra Chahal excluded from Team India

The chosen options for India’s 17-man team of spinners were Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav.

The team did not include Yuzvendra Chahal, who last played in an ODI in January of this year and was also a member of the group that toured the West Indies.

Two wrist spinners would have been impossible to put within the roster, according to Agarkar.

“Kuldeep’s had a fantastic run at this point. To fit in two wrist-spinners might have been difficult. At this point, you can only fit 15 (for the World Cup). To fit two wrist-spinners (would’ve been difficult). So, unfortunately, one of them would have to miss out and at this point, Kuldeep is a little bit ahead of him,” he said.

Although it is very likely that these three left-arm spinners—two orthodox and one unorthodox—will be included in India’s World Cup roster, nobody has been officially excluded.

According to Rohit, there may still be openings.

“No doors are closed for anyone. Anyone can come in at any time. Chahal has played a lot of cricket, lot of white-ball cricket. If we feel like we need him for the World Cup, we can try and squeeze him. Same with (Ravichandran) Ashwin or Washy (Washington Sundar),” he said.


Top order revealed

Some pundits, notably former India coach Ravi Shastri, have urged that the squad try out Virat Kohli in the fourth spot in light of the rumours and uncertainty surrounding it.

But Rohit made it clear that the players would mostly stay in their assigned spots.

“The opener bats at the position of an opener. The number three batter bats at number three. KL Rahul used to bat at number five, that is the position, he would stick to. Hardik bats at six, and that is where he will come. Same with Jadeja at seven,” said the skipper.

“At times we can switch between numbers four and five. That kind of flexibility is okay. And the same happened to us, when we came into the side. All youngsters have batted at all positions. That is the flexibility I believe in. You cannot send an opener at number eight, or send the number eight player to open. We do not believe in that kind of madness,” he added.


Team India squad for the Asia Cup:

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.

Travelling reserve: Sanju Samson.