Asia Cup 2023: Key takeaways from India’s 17-man squad selection

Asia Cup 2023: In the run-up to the continental tournament, India is having worrying problems even with their expanded 17-man squad. The Asian giants appear to be running out of time to announce the World Cup squad, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

As anticipated, the news was revealed on Monday, August 21. In a first, captain Rohit Sharma went to a press conference in New Delhi to announce India’s 17-man Asia Cup 2023 squad alongside recently appointed selection committee chair Ajit Agarkar. In order to give themselves more time to narrow down on the final 15 players for the highlight event, which begins on October 5, India has postponed the announcement of their provisional ODI World Cup squad, unlike some of the other dominant teams, such as Australia and England. It appears that both the selectors and the team management are fervently hoping that everything will work out in the next two weeks. Before the deadline for the announcement of the provisional ODI World Cup, India has two Asia Cup matches, including the big one against Pakistan on September 2. In addition, they have a training camp in Bengaluru.

A potential India ODI World Cup squad is suggested by the 17-man squad and the selection of Sanju Samson as the traveling standby player. Since we selected these 18 players, the World Cup roster will be composed of and centered around those players. Several key players are recovering from injuries. “Hopefully, everything works out for them,” Agarkar remarked.

There were not many unexpected additions to the 17-man Asia Cup roster. Though there is reason for some concern, the squad’s batting-heavy makeup and the return of the injured stars are encouraging signs.

India appears to be desperate to get KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer back, while teams like New Zealand and England are reluctant to take a chance by sending their injured players back. Rahul and Shreyas, for their respective injuries to their thighs and backs, underwent surgery. The captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders hasn’t played since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in March, while the captain of the Lucknow Super Giants hasn’t since the IPL 2023.

Before announcing their World Cup squad, India is hoping that the two middle-order batsmen, who have shown their mettle, find some form in the Asia Cup. The fact that India has been having trouble with their No. 4 and No. 5 spots makes it easy to understand their frantic attempt to get Iyer and Rahul back in the mix. But according to Ajit Agarkar, KL Rahul has developed a niggle unrelated to his previous injury, meaning the wicketkeeper-batter is probably going to miss the opening few games of the Asia Cup, including the big match. The management of the team would then have to have faith in Rahul and include him in the World Cup final 15 despite not having had a chance to evaluate him in real-world situations.

Rahul has a history of injuries, and his long absence from the game last year did not go as planned when he rejoined the team for the Asia Cup T20 and the T20 World Cup. The star batsman found it difficult to get going.

Over the past few months, it appeared as though India was preparing Suryakumar Yadav to fill the middle-order void left by KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. But when the top-ranked T20I batter in the world was handed a finisher’s role in the ODI series against the West Indies, things changed. Suryakumar acknowledges that despite getting plenty of chances, he has not performed well in the ODI series. In 24 ODI innings, he has scored 511 runs; in the game’s 50-over format, his last fifty came 17 innings ago.

Only three spinners appear to be enough for India for both the home World Cup and the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. The fact that India only named Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel in their expanded squad of 17 was a little unexpected. It’s clear that India has been forced to select bowlers who can bat rather than placing their faith in specialist bowlers who do the job well, as evidenced by the lack of significant runs from captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli coupled with the middle-order problems.

Wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and a few off-spinners were taken into consideration, but Rohit Sharma disclosed that India chose Axar Patel because of his bat-swinging ability. Even though Axar’s batting average in 32 ODI innings is not particularly high (18.77), India is keen to strengthen their batting lineup. Unfortunately, Yuzvendra Chahal does not make the cut even though he performed well enough to be considered. However, India appears to be concerned about the likelihood of dew in October and November, and captain Rohit Sharma believes that speed will be crucial in the domestic World Cup.

Rohit Said, “I’m not suggesting that placing the opener at number seven or starting the batting with Hardik Pandya when I say that flexibility is important. The past seven and a half years have seen Shikhar and Rohit open only once, while Kohli has only batted at three. From four to five years old, it’s critical that kids have flexibility and can bat both ways.”

Rohit Sharma started joking that he and Virat Kohli are getting ready to chip in with the ball if necessary, but he acknowledged that the Indian side does not have many batsmen who could roll their arms over. Joining in, Ajit Agarkar stated that the two superstars had been persuaded by the selectors to be prepared to roll over. It is regrettable, though, that India was unable to concentrate on developing more bowling options prior to the World Cup.

The inability of Indian batters to roll their arms over is not a new issue. Problems with injuries and workload have also impacted Shreyas Iyer’s chances of being given enough opportunities to bowl in game situations. If the need arises, all one can hope for is that Rohit and Kohli step up and contribute a few overs.