In the last six T20 matches, Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav have been the opening partners of Rohit Sharma. However, on his return to the team, Rahul will once again find a place in the top order. A source in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on condition of anonymity, “Lokesh Rahul does not need to prove anything. Whenever he plays T20 he always plays as a specialist opener and the same thing will continue. In future, Suryakumar and Rishabh will play as specialist middle-order batsmen.
Rahul, who has scored a lot of runs in the Indian Premier League, however, has been criticized for his slow batting while opening the innings in T20 Internationals. Team India, however, has adopted a strategy of ‘attacking at any cost’ in the power play, which has been done well by both Pant and Suryakumar. In such a situation, Rahul will definitely have to change his game in the continental tournament in UAE. Virat Kohli’s form is the biggest concern for the Indian team but the star batsman’s number three position does not see any threat at the moment.
There has been no specific discussion about Kohli’s future in the shortest format of the game and even if he does not perform effectively in the Asia Cup, his years of experience and match-winning ability have been overlooked for the T20 World Cup in Australia. would be difficult to do. Dinesh Karthik has almost confirmed his place in the middle order while Deepak Hooda will be the first backup option in future. It will be interesting to see whether the selectors pick Ishan Kishan as an additional opener and wicket-keeper option or choose Sanju Samson as an aggressive middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper option.
Whatever the selectors decide, one of the two is almost certain to be out. In the bowling unit, Chahar will make a comeback in the one-day international series against Zimbabwe and is likely to be picked in the squad for the Asia Cup. “Deepak was one of India’s consistent performers in T20Is before getting injured. He deserves a fair chance and at the same time we need an equal replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Also he is making a comeback so he will have to play a lot of matches to get the momentum.
Harshal Patel has reportedly suffered a rib injury and his inclusion in the team will depend on fitness. As far as the off-spinner is concerned, Washington Sundar will not be considered for the T20 World Cup as the team management wants to go ahead with Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel besides veteran Ravichandran Ashwin. Similarly, Mohammed Shami has also been told that his name will be considered only for Tests and One Day Internationals.
Asian Cup probable team
Fixed Players (13): Rohit Sharma (Captain), Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Back Up Batsman: Deepak Hooda/Ishaan Kishan/Sanju Samson
Back up fast bowler Arshdeep Singh/Avesh Khan/Deepak Chahar/Harshal Patel
Back Up Spinner: Akshar Patel / Kuldeep Yadav / Ravi Bishnoi.
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