India announced their 17-person roster for the next Asia Cup, which will begin on August 30.
The inclusion of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the India roster for the Asia Cup on Monday, August 21, has strengthened the team’s position. Both middle-order hitters have been cleared to compete in the Asia Cup after recovering from their individual ailments at the National Cricket Academy.
Jasprit Bumrah’s comeback to ODI cricket after a break of more than a year is also commemorated by the squad. Bumrah will put himself to the test in the 50-over format leading up to the World Cup after demonstrating his fitness in the current T20I series against Ireland.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
Travelling reserve: Sanju Samson
Iyer and Rahul’s return in time for both the World Cup and the Asia Cup is a huge boost for India. At No. 4 and No. 5, the two positions India has struggled to replace after the 2019 World Cup, both players have been mainstays in recent ODIs.
In ODIs, Rahul has emerged as a revelation since settling into the middle order. Rahul has scored 742 runs at an average of 53 while striking at nearly run-a-ball in the 18 games he has played at No. 5. This is a huge increase over his lifetime average of 45.13 and strike rate of 86.57.
Iyer, who has played at No. 4 22 times and amassed 805 runs at an average of 47.35, has also been prepared for the position since the 2019 World Cup.
Tilak Varma’s first ODI call-up was the squad announcement’s other major high point. The 20-year-old has only participated in seven T20Is, but he has already made an impression with his attitude and desire. The southpaw also provides India with some much-needed left-hand diversity in the middle order, averaging 56.18 with a strike rate of 101.64 in 25 domestic List-A games.
The Rohit Sharma-led India’s Asia Cup campaign gets underway on September 2 when they play their bitter rivals Pakistan in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Two days later, they take on Nepal at the same location.
After the 2019 Cricket World Cup, this will be the first time India and Pakistan compete in an ODI.
The top two teams from each group advance to the Super 4, where they play one another. The top two teams will compete in the final on September 17 in Colombo following the Super 4 stage.