India’s Predicted XI for the Asia Cup: Sportsrush presents before you India’s probable Playing XI for the first match of the Asia Cup.
After the selectors announced the 16-member Asia Cup squad earlier in the day, eyes have now shifted towards the probable playing eleven for India’s first match against a qualifying team on September 18, exactly a week after the last Test match against England will end at The Oval.
Top-Order – With Shikhar Dhawan retained in the squad, him and stand-in captain Rohit Sharma, India’s regular opening pair in the limited-overs format, will face the new ball. Having scored 3,444 runs in 78 innings at an average of 44.72, the pair would be hoping to stand strong on their past record as an opening pair. Another century partnership in ODIs will take their count to 13, surpassing the great Indian opening pair of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
Lokesh Rahul, who failed to make a mark in the couple of ODIs that he played against England in July, is most likely to be shifted at No. 3, a position made vacant by the rest given to captain Virat Kohli.
Middle-Order – (As usual) The team management is likely to face conundrum for the No. 4 spot. With Manish Pandey and Ambati Rayudu making their way back into the squad, the duo will fight with Dinesh Karthik for the spot. Pandey, who did not get out to score 306 runs in four matches at a strike rate of 100.99 in the recently concluded quadrangular series, has made a special case for himself to play at No. 4.
In the same tournament, Rayudu has amassed 187 runs in four matches at an average of 62.33. However, Dinesh Karthik appears the most-deserving to be played at No. 4. In the last seven innings that he has played for India, he has remained not-out four times (scoring a half-century twice). We have seen him not getting enough opportunities multiple times in a given role. Since he was in the team for the England tour, he should be given a go ahead of anyone else.
MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya are likely to complete the rest of the batting line-up. With Jadhav also making a comeback, India’s issues with the sixth bowler can also be resolved for his off-breaks (with an unconventional action) has it in them to contain the opposition batsmen.
Bowlers – Given the options that India has for the Asia Cup, their bowling unit appears to be a set foursome of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Given the variety that it possesses, this set is vital for India’s chances against the opposition for they can both attack and contain the opposition batsmen from both ends. Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav will be assisting these bowlers as India would be looking to not let opposition batsmen score big on flat tracks during the Asia Cup.
Expected Playing Eleven: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (c), Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Reserves – Manish Pandey, Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed.