Asia Cup 2022: What can be Team India's starting XI?
The Indian cricket team will be opening its Asia Cup 2022 (T20I) campaign against Pakistan on August 28. India are placed in Group A and the third team will be decided via qualifiers. Team India has been enjoying a sound run of form in white-ball cricket of late. India have won five successive series and have a strong squad on offer. Here's more.
Why does this story matter?
- India have plenty of options to choose from and deciding on a balanced T20I side will be key for the tournament.
- The first match itself is a blockbuster awaiting fans and Rohit Sharma-led India need a perfect start to boss the show.
- India have KL Rahul back which is a plus. The pace department looks a bit shy given injuries to key players.
Rohit and Rahul are the likely candidates to open
Rohit has belted 3,487 runs in T20Is at 32.28. He has smashed four tons and 27 fifties. The Hitman featured in three T20Is versus England and another four versus West Indies since July. He has got two fifties during this phase. Rahul returns to the fold after being sidelined post IPL 2022. He managed 1 and 30 in the just concluded ODIs versus Zimbabwe.
Kohli to come in at number three
Virat Kohli is the obvious choice at number three and completed the top-order. Kohli, who has amassed 3,308 runs in T20Is, hasn't quite fired for a while now. One hopes to see him bring his experience into play and get his touch back.
SKY and Pandya to follow suit
Suryakumar Yadav can be the match-winner for India. A highly versatile batter, SKY is expected to fit in at number four. His wide range of shots can keep India afloat. SKY averages 37.33 in T20Is. India are likely to see Hardik Pandya at number five. The all-rounder has been consistent with both bat and ball. He seems to have regained his confidence.
DK or Pant? India have this dilemma
Dinesh Karthik has been given another chance in this Indian side post a solid IPL 2022. The veteran cricketer hasn't disappointed and his role as a finisher at number six or even seven is unquestionable. However, with Rahul back, the management now needs to choose between DK and Rishabh Pant for the keeping role. India might opt for DK in the high-voltage opener.
Jadeja, Ashwin, and Chahal can be spin options
Ravindra Jadeja is another big name in that all-rounders list for India. He is a natural at number seven. Jadeja will be immense with his presence given he is ideally a three dimensional star. With the slow nature of pitches and India also having Hardik as the third pace option, one expects to see both R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal complimenting Jadeja as spinners.
Bhuvi and Arshdeep to be the focus in pace department
India have three main pacers in their squad in the form of Bhuvneshar Kumar, Avesh Khan, and Arshdeep Singh. Bhuvi is set to lead the unit. He has 73 wickets under his belt. Between Avesh and Arshdeep, the management could opt for the latter given his exploits at the death. India will also need Hardik to give them the support as the third pacer.
Probable playing XI of Team India
India probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, B Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.
India's Asia Cup squad
India's squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan. Standby players: Deepak Chahar, Shreyas Iyer, and Axar Patel.