India have named a 15-member squad for the 2022 Asia Cup, which will be played in the Twenty20 format.
The tournament, which begins on August 27, will mark the return of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Rahul, who is yet to play a T20I this year, was recovering from injuries, while Kohli was rested for the tour of the Caribbean after a prolonged run of poor form.
Kohli averages 20.25 in the format this year at a strike rate of just above 128. However, the selectors have shown faith in him, who has an overall average of 50.12 in 99 T20Is, a number that increases to 76.81 in the T20 World Cup.
Jasprit Bumrah or Harshal Patel are both out with injuries. There is also no place for Axar Patel, who will remain a standby along with Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Chahar. Neither Sanju Samson nor Ishan Kishan – who was part of the T20 World Cup squad last year – makes the cut. Meanwhile, Avesh Khan edges ahead of Mohammed Shami, who no longer remains a plan of the T20I set-up if reports are to be believed.
India squad for the Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul (vc), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan.
Here are some reactions to the squad:
This is a good team just need Bumrah and Harshal back to full fitness going forward. Good to see Kohli is back. Expecting him to be back to his full form. #AsiaCup2022
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 8, 2022
It seems India’s plan is only 2 frontline seamers vs Pakistan. That means there could be 10-12 overs of spin.
No Pakistan frontline batter in the squad has a strike-rate of 130 vs spin in recent years. Only Shadab vs spin is 130+. Pak may have missed a trick to include Azam Khan
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) August 8, 2022
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) August 8, 2022
This means, and I am not sure I agree with it, that Shami isn't part of the plans. They are looking at another death bowler to accompany Bumrah and that is where Arshdeep gets the nod.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) August 8, 2022
XI member in T20Is, is for him to improve his game against pace.
His weakness has been so badly exposed now that he can't hide anymore.
— Gurkirat Singh Gill (@gurkiratsgill) August 8, 2022