Three players who can help India win the Asia Cup: Sportsrush presents before you a list of players who can turn the tables for India.
With the Asia Cup starting tomorrow, all eyes are likely to be on the defending champions, India. Having won the inaugural T20I edition of the tournament in 2016, India would be once again keen on winning the title, albeit in the One-day format now.
The last time when India won the ODI Asia Cup was in 2010 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. However, will India be able to outdo five other teams with a playing eleven without Virat Kohli remains the big question? For India to make a point without their regular skipper, the individual performances of the below mentioned three players is imperative.
1. Rohit Sharma – There is no hiding to the fact that Rohit Sharma has been a predominant force for India in limited-overs cricket in the recent years. The 31-year old opening batsman had first captained India in ODIs when Virat Kohli was rested for series against Sri Lanka last year.
India had won the three-match series 2-1 with Sharma’s third ODI double century (208* at Mohali) being the highlight of the series. Above anything, Sharma’s innings had confirmed that he can play these match-winning innings under the pressure of being a captain as well.
India would be requiring something similar from him in the Asia Cup as well. Apart from leading the side, Sharma will have to take the responsibility of playing substantial innings throughout the tournament in which India’s middle-order is likely to shuffled.
2. MS Dhoni – Despite not being the captain of the ODI team since January 2017, Dhoni has been a vital cog in the wheel in the on-field decisions during the matches. His astuteness behind the wickets has aided Kohli on various occasions of his captaincy career. Dhoni would be looking to play a similar, or even better, role to the stand-in captain in Sharma.
As mentioned above, with the middle-order batsmen likely to be rearranged above and below his batting position, the team management would expect Dhoni to play a guiding hand in the middle-order for it is an area of concern which has bothered India in the past.
At a personal level, Dhoni would also be looking to achieve a few records in the Asia Cup, build some new ones exclusively against Pakistan and also complete 1,000 ODI runs after resigning from captaincy last year.
3. Kuldeep Yadav – Enough has been said about the 23-year old Kuldeep Yadav being the mystery spinner who can deceive the opposition at will. While all of that is true, Yadav would be looking forward to make a mark with his bowling figures on the supportive wickets of UAE.
In the 23 ODIs that he has played so far, Yadav has 48 wickets to his name, which have come at an average of 19.35, an economy rate of 4.82 and a strike rate of 24. For a contemporary bowler to have such numbers is not less than magical.
All Yadav has to do during the tournament is dwell on these numbers for that would be enough to provide assistance to the other bowlers. Yadav was sent back from the England series after bowling nine wicket-less and harmless overs at Lord’s.
On his return to India, he picked a five-fer against Australia A at Alur. Despite the difference in the format, Yadav would be looking at continuing on that momentum to rock the opposition during the Asia Cup.