The BCCI on Monday announced the Indian men’s squad for Asia Cup. The tournament is all set to begin from August 27, 2022. Sri Lanka were the initial hosts for the six team tournament, but backed out after the country faced the biggest political and economic crisis in its history. The new hosts are UAE, where two matches will be played at Sharjah and the rest in Dubai.
Here are some of the key takeaways from India’s Asia Cup squad:
1. Virat Kohli is back:
One of the biggest names to be included in the squad is that of Kohli, who is back in the T20 set up after a long break. This comes after his poor performance in the T20 series against England and IPL 2022 (341 runs, average 22.73, strike rate 116). Since the T20 World Cup ended in November of last year, Kohli has only participated in four T20 international matches and has missed 19. He has scored 81 runs at an average of 20 and a strike rate of 128.57.
2. Shikhar Dhawan‘s exclusion:
The Delhi southpaw played well in the recently concluded West Indies ODI series and had a good IPL 2022, reaching 400+ runs for the Punjab Kings. He was the Man of the Series of the previous edition of the tournament, though it was in the ODI format. Furthermore, he took the helm in the young ODI team’s success in West Indies and will do so once more in the ODI series against Zimbabwe.
3. KL Rahul makes a comeback as vice captain:
KL Rahul, who has been out of action since the IPL, is also making his comeback with the squad as the vice captain. After having a hernia injury’s surgery, the opener was expected to play again in the T20I series against the West Indies. But a positive COVID-19 test put off his return even further.
After the tour of England, Bumrah chose not to travel to the West Indies, and he was also given a break from the forthcoming ODI series in Zimbabwe. He reportedly experienced back spasms the previous week and travelled to Bengaluru’s National Cricket Academy, where he was given a niggle-related diagnosis. Harshal Patel will also miss the Asia Cup due to a side strain.
5. Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh and Deepak Hooda make debut:
The BCCI has included several fascinating youngsters in the squad despite the return of some well-known players. For players like Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, and Deepak Hooda, the competition will be an opportunity to demonstrate their talent on a major stage and secure their tickets to Australia.
Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Kartik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan
Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar
The Asia Cup is India’s third-to-last T20I assignment before the T20 World Cup starts in Australia in October. They play two home series against Australia and South Africa after the tournament. Team India is the reigning champion.