Asia Cup 2023: Key players make a comeback as BCCI announces 17-member Team India squad
PTC Web Desk: The BCCI on Monday announced Team India's squad for Asia Cup 2023, beginning from August 30. KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have secured spots in the squad, whereas Yuzvendra Chahal's presence is absent. Joining the squad is Tilak Verma, who marked his debut for Team India earlier this month. India will play Pakistan in their opening game on September 2.
Jasprit Bumrah's eagerly awaited comeback follows his successful display of fitness in the T20I series against Ireland. Additionally, KL Rahul's reentry into the squad comes after his recuperation from an injury he incurred during the Indian Premier League (IPL). This squad represents one of the most formidable Indian lineups in recent memory.
Team India chief selector Ajit Agarkar said middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer had been declared completely fit while KL Rahul was having a niggle and was expected to recover by the second or third game of the Asia Cup.
Agarkar said this while addressing a press conference with skipper Rohit Sharma here.
"Shreyas Iyer has been declared fully fit. It is great news. KL Rahul is carrying a niggle. But we expect him to get fit by the second or third game of the Asia Cup. These two are extremely important players for us," Agarkar said.
About who plays in the number four position for India in Asia Cup and the World Cup, Rohit said, "You got guys who can bat at number four (laughs). It is not about number four, but about the top three, then from there onwards. It is not just one position that can win us a game and a tournament. It is about the batting unit coming together as a batting unit and getting the job done. There have been challenges. Guys have been put under pressure. We have had some injuries, we had to try and see other players in that position. We had to rotate them. Some players missed out due to workload management. We had to try what combination suited us. We tried Axar at number four, a left-hander at number four and allowed him to play with freedom. Once we get into World Cup, we want to rest assured that this is what we want to do."
Notably, the 2023 Asia Cup will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka with the tournament running from August 30 to September 17. India will open their Asia Cup campaign with an iconic clash against Pakistan on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed Rohit Sharma's deputy in Asia Cup 2023.
Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games. The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours, beginning September 6.
The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.
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, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
- With inputs from agencies