Asia Cup 2022: Key takeaways from Team India's campaign
India, on Thursday, downed Afghanistan by 101 runs to conclude their Asia Cup 2022 campaign on a high. However, it was a disappointing run from Rohit Sharma's men, given India were the favorite to lift the title. The top-order's failure in must-win duels and insipid bowling in death overs proved fatal. There were a few positives too. Here are the takeaways from India's campaign.
A lot was expected from KL Rahul, despite poor affairs in the Zimbabwe one-dayers. However, the stylish batter failed to deliver to his potential. His scores in the tournament read 0, 36, 28, 6, and 62. Rahul has been in the T20I set-up for over six years but hasn't been a bankable player in high-pressure duels as was visible in the outings against Pakistan.
Virat Kohli getting back his mojo was perhaps the biggest positive for Team India in the Asia Cup 2022. He bashed fifties against Hong Kong and Pakistan and saved the best for the last, a maiden T20I ton (122*) against Afghanistan to break his long-standing century drought. An in-form Kohli is a blessing for a side with the T20 World Cup next month.
Surprising as it sounds, Dinesh Karthik faced only one delivery throughout the Asia Cup. That too during the Group stage match against Pakistan (1*). He kept the wickets versus Afghanistan before making way for Rishabh Pant. Pant scored 14, 17, and lastly, 20* against Afghanistan, which witnessed Karthik conceding 18 runs off an over. It's high time India take a call on their wicket-keeper.
Arshdeep Singh was right on the money with his death-over antics. The left-armer averaged a meek 18.00 and conceded only seven boundaries in 33 deliveries. He bowled nine dot balls, besides claiming three wickets. He showed nerves of steel in the Super Four stage, taking the game deep against Pakistan and SL with only 7 runs needed off the final over.
Ace Indian seamer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, claimed 11 wickets in total, with five of those in the powerplay, averaging 10.40. He made light work of Afghanistan's line-up, having taken four wickets in his initial spell. However, one can't turn a blind eye to his death over shows against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, conceding 19 and 14 runs respectively, to put India under the pump.
India conceded too many runs in the Super Four duels against Pakistan and Sri Lanka to eventually lose the plot. One of the major factors that could be attributed to the same was the decision to stick with only five bowling options. With the wickets assisting the spinners, skipper Rohit should have introduced a few overs of Deepak Hooda to build the pressure.