Friday, September 29, 2023
Home Fantasy Cricket Asia Cup 2023: India squad and everything you need to know

Asia Cup 2023: India squad and everything you need to know

Team India will begin their preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023 with an assignment at the Asia Cup. Following the last two editions which were held in the T20 format, this year’s Asia Cup will be in ODI format as a precursor to the World Cup later in the year.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 17-member Indian squad for the upcoming Asia Cup on Monday. The returns of batters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer were the major points of attention as far as the squad announcement was concerned. Both Rahul and Iyer were battling long-term injuries but have managed to recover in time for the continental affair.

Jasprit Bumrah, who recently returned to international cricket during the series against Ireland following his serious back injury, has also been included in the side.

The makeup of the squad for the Asia Cup is important given that we’re getting very close to the ODI World Cup, set to be held on home soil. As such, the current squad suggests the line of thinking by the team management as well as the selectors.

The team for the Asia Cup was picked by the board of selectors headed by Ajit Agarkar and the squad was officially announced by him as well as captain Rohit Sharma at a press conference in New Delhi. Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna are also surprise inclusions in the squad. Sanju Samson will also be travelling with the team as a backup player.

But before we discuss India’s squad in greater detail, let us first talk about the Asia Cup 2023.

Asia Cup 2023: All you need to know

The 16th edition of the Asia Cup will be held in the One Day format and will jointly be hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Six teams – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka – will be competing this year. Nepal will be making their Asia Cup debut having qualified for the first time by winning the 2023 ACC Men’s Premier Cup.

This is the first time that an Asia Cup will be co-hosted by two countries. Four matches will be played in Lahore and Multan in Pakistan, while the remaining nine games will be hosted in Colombo and Kandy in Sri Lanka.

The six teams have been divided into two groups of three sides each. India, Pakistan, and Nepal are in Group A while Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan have been drawn in Group B. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four stage and the top two teams from that stage will advance to the final of the competition.

The Asia Cup begins on August 30 and the final will be held on September 17 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Now that we know enough about Asia Cup 2023, let’s get back to discussing Team India.

What are the key takeaways from India’s Asia Cup squad?

Flexibility and strength in the middle order

The timing of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer’s returns couldn’t have been any better. The Indian middle-order had clearly been suffering in their absence over the last few months and to say that it had been a mess will be an understatement. The team management provided opportunities to several players to essay the number 4, 5, and 6 roles in the middle order in ODIs but so far, nobody has managed to impress thoroughly.

With Rahul and Iyer back in the fold, India have also avoided the need to tinker with their top three in Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli. It was initially suggested that Kohli could be dropped to the fourth slot in order to add greater strength to the middle order.

However, that role is well played by Shreyas Iyer while KL Rahul’s numbers batting at number 5 are extremely impressing. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja could accompany the duo in the middle-order as the sixth and seventh options and they can also act as finishers.

Therefore, don’t be surprised to see fluidity in India’s middle order with plenty of promotion and demotion depending on the conditions and match situations. This was also a point stressed upon by captain Rohit Sharma during the press conference.

“Flexibility is required and it doesn’t mean we send an opener at number 7 or send Hardik Pandya as an opener. In the last four-five years, Kohli has batted at number 3. The new guys at number 4, number 5 players need to be flexible. Even in my career…we all have done that. That’s the flexibility I am talking about,” he said.

Lot of seam options

India are travelling to Sri Lanka with five pace bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Prasidh Krishna, and Jasprit Bumrah. Hardik Pandya is also well capable of bowling a few overs of pace in the middle. As such, there are plenty of seam bowling options to go around and the team management might face a headache accomodating most of these players.

The workload of Bumrah and Prasidh are expected to be managed given that these two players have recently returned from injuries and the World Cup continues to be the primary goal for the team. With that being said, though, India will only be able to carry four pace bowlers to the World Cup.

Therefore, it will be interesting to see which bowlers are able to impress during this competition and prove their case strong for World Cup inclusion.

Variety in spin combination?

Kuldeep Yadav will obviously be India’s primary spinner in the ODI XI and he has been in strong form lately. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel could be competing for that second spot in the team and both of them have been included as spin-bowling all-rounders.

This could potentially lead to a lack of depth in batting. India have often said that they want to bat deep and the management might consider playing Shardul Thakur (who is a more than decent batter) as a pace-bowling all-rounder in order to combat the problem of a long tail in ODIs.

The presence of the spin conundrum also means that the selectors will also continue to consider Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar for the role heading into the World Cup, despite their omission from the Asia Cup squad.

India’s Asia Cup squad:

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

Traveling stand-by player: Sanju Samson

Bangladesh Asia Cup squad:

Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Kumer Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Shaik Mahedi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Shamim Hossain, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Tanzim Hasan Sakib

Nepal Asia Cup squad:

Rohit Paudel (Captain), Kushal Bhurtel, Aasif Sheikh, Bhim Sharki, Kushal Malla, Aarif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee, Gulshan Jha, Sompal Kami, Karan KC, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lalit Rajbanshi, Pratish GC, Mousom Dhakal, Sundeep Jora, Kishore Mahato, Arjun Saud

Pakistan Asia Cup squad:

Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi.

Afghanistan Asia Cup squad:

Yet to be announced.

Sri Lanka Asia Cup squad:

Yet to be announced.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments