KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer return after an injury break while Tilak Varma gets a maiden ODI call-up as the BCCI announced a 17-man squad for the Asia Cup 2023, starting August 30. On Monday, Chairman of the selection committee Ajit Agarkar and captain Rohit Sharma addressed the media, revealing the 17-member team that will take part in the continental championship.
India Squad for the Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna
Stand by: Sanju Samson
Rahul, Iyer Back
The question loomed large on the availability of Rahul and Iyer who were going through rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. While Iyer has been away with a back problem, Rahul injured his thigh during an Indian Premier League game against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Lucknow earlier this year.
Addressing the media on Monday, Agarkar clarified that while Iyer has regained full fitness, Rahul still has a little niggle and that’s why Sanju Samson has been named as the only reserve player.
“Shreyas is declared completely fit. KL Rahul still has some niggle, hence Samson is travelling as a reserve," Agarkar told the reporters on Monday in Delhi.
Varma In, Chahal Out
Days after making a dynamic T20I debut, left-hander Tilka Varma has received a maiden ODI call-up. His selection was largely backed by the experts of the game, especially for his promising show on the Caribbean tour. Agarkar also heaped praise on Varma and said,
“Tilak showed real promise, temperament, good to take him along. Fortunately, we can take 17 here so opportunity for him to be part of the team"
Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal has been dropped from the squad, with Kuldeep Yadav preferred as the wrist-spinner along with all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
“Chahal was discussed, but sometimes it is the balance of the side we had to look at. Kuldeep has been really good, Axar has done well, but to fit two wrist spinners was difficult, so Chahal had to miss out," Agarkar said.
About Asia Cup 2023
As many as 13 games will be played in the Asia Cup 2023. The tournament will conducted as per the hybrid model proposed by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) according to which four matches will be played in the host country while the rest of the 9 in Sri Lanka.
Groups A & B
The teams are divided into two groups: Group A includes Pakistan, India, and Nepal while Group B consists of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. India will begin their campaign against arch-rival Pakistan on September 2 in Pallekele.