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Asia Cup 2022

What will India’s XI look like against Pakistan in the Asia Cup?

Sarah Waris by Sarah Waris
@swaris16 5 minute read

India take on Pakistan in the Asia Cup on August 28 — here is the XI they can field that night.

India will be without star pacer Jasprit Bumrah for the Asia Cup due to an injury. Harshal Patel’s absence ensured Avesh Khan’s selection in the 15-member side, one that also marked the return of Virat Kohli. There are hardly any other surprises, with Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi and R Ashwin handling the spin bowling attack along with Ravindra Jadeja.

India’s squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc & wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan


Rohit Sharma

The India captain, often accused of starting off slowly, has reinvented his game since the T20 World Cup last year, batting more aggressively in the powerplay. Since the tournament last year, his strike rate in the first six overs has been 156, enabling India to have rapid starts. The big scores have dried out – Rohit  has only scored three fifties since then – but the starts have undoubtedly helped the team.

KL Rahul

Rahul is yet to play a T20I this year, although he did play the Indian Premier League in the entirety. Rahul’s IPL strike rate over the past four years has been a matter of concern. Though he scored 616 runs – the fifth successive season he has made 590-plus runs – his runs came at a strike rate of 135. How his batting approach fits in with India’s new template remains to be seen. He, after all, topped the strike rates among Indians until 2018.

Virat Kohli

With all the furore over Kohli’s form, India are expected to persist with the senior player. One of India’s all-time greats Test batters and one of the greatest ever ODI batters in the world, Kohli can be a reasonable option on difficult pitches. After India were reduced to 31-3 in 5.4 overs against Pakistan in last year’s T20 World Cup, Kohli steadied the innings with a 49-ball 57. No other player except Rishabh Pant could score more than 15 runs in the innings.

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar is one of the first names on the team sheet, and not without reason. In 21 innings, he has made 672 runs at a strike rate of 175 with a hundred and five fifties. He struck at above 170 in four of his last five innings, and his versatile strokeplay is keen to this Indian T20I side.

Rishabh Pant

Pant does not have the best numbers in the format: an average of 23.86 in 48 innings and a strike rate of 126. However, he has found form after two slow years in the IPL, has improved in the other two formats, and can away the game on his day. It is only a matter of time before he excels in T20Is as well.

Hardik Pandya

Pandya’s return balances out the India XI. A trusted finisher, he can also send down four overs consistently, hitting the deck hard, bowling in any phase of the innings, and picking up wickets at regular intervals. He also impressed as leader in the IPL, and is a great addition to any side.

Ravindra Jadeja

The debate for the spot is between Dinesh Karthik and Jadeja, and the latter is expected to edge ahead. Karthik is a better T20I batter than Jadeja, his striking abilities in the death overs in the IPL helping him earn a comeback to the national team. However, with India holding him back for the end overs on most occasions, Karthik’s role in the side is limited.

Jadeja has a strike rate of 125 in the format, and struggles against spin in the middle overs, but his bowling adds an extra dimension. With the Asia Cup to be played in the UAE, where wickets are on the slower side, Jadeja’s presence will lend more balance to the team.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Bhuvneshwar had been struggling with fitness last year, but is a treat to watch when in full flow. In T20Is this year, he has picked up 20 wickets in 16 innings at an average of 17.80 and an economy rate of under seven, almost always bowling inside the powerplay. His excellent yorker makes him dependable at the death as well, where he may be needed in the absence of Bumrah and Harshal. He is also a handy batter down the order.

Arshdeep Singh

Arshdeep debuted against England last month, but has become one of the most trusted bowlers for India in the short duration. In six games, he has picked up nine wickets at an average of 14.55 and an economy rate of 6.33. In the last five overs, he has a dot ball percentage of 41.4 and will form an effective pairing with Bhuvneshwar.

Yuzvendra Chahal

After being left out of the T20 World Cup squad last year, Chahal has bounced back strongly and will be India’s first-choice spinner in the XI. Besides ending the 2022 IPL as the leading wicket-taker, he has also picked up wickets for India regularly across conditions.

Avesh Khan

The absence of Harshal and Bumrah has opened the door for Avesh. Though he has not had the best initiation in the format – he has gone for 8.67 runs an over in 13 matches – he has proven himself in the IPL. India are also likely to try out as many fast bowlers as they can before the T20 World Cup this year.

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