It could be said, arguably speaking, that the most important one day tournament just ahead of the format’s biggest cricketing extravaganza called the World Cup is around: Asia Cup 2023.

Though what’s interesting is that while on the one hand the T20 series against Ireland is underway, the Indian team will be selected for the Asia Cup 2023 to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka on August 21, 2023, which is merely a few hours away.

Given how India fares in this massively exciting tournament will perhaps determine the most latest form or touch of each of its players and could possibly contribute to the mental make up for the big World Cup event, the selection of the ablest squad for the Asia Cup holds the key.

Which is why somewhere it’s not hard to understand that the selection for the Asia Cup is going to be very important for the Indian team as almost every player who will play in the Asia Cup is likely to be seen representing the Indian team in the 2023 World Cup.

So let’s try and understand the key central figures around whose talent the major run scoring responsibilities will revolve.

When it comes to the Indian team’s batting line-up, it will be captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja who will play a dominant role. KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who were sidelined due to injury, have recovered and are currently training with renewed vigor but their fitness will be tested in the 50-over matches.

Hence, it remains to be seen whether they will get a chance in an important tournament like the Asia Cup soon after coming back from injury. At the same time, should these massive names in the line up miss out, it would be a shocker given neither batsmen have to prove that they belong to the side having given their hundred percent prior to injury (missing out only from the runs on a select few occasions).

That told, the biggest name that continues to be a talking point is someone who’s a proven IPL name, and yet, a neophyte at the national team level: Tilak Varma.

The attractive left hander performed brilliantly in the T20I series against the West Indies and is likely to be included in the 17-man squad. Should he get a break at the 2023 World Cup, it’ll definitely be Varma’s biggest moment in blue.

At the same time, much can be said about the other potent force in India’s armoury: its bowling.

India’s bowling will depend on Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya. Jasprit Bumrah who’s recovered from injury is captaining the side in the series against Ireland. Probably the most natural way to get back at doing one’s best is captaining.

Since all the matches of the Indian team are to be played in Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, the role of the spinner will be important.

This is where it could get interesting. We still have Chahal as the best leg break specialist. At the same time, the role of all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will be important for the team, both of whom have played an instrumental role in supporting mainstream bowling options for the massive side.

However, there’s a big question too.

It remains to be seen whether the trio of Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid and Ajit Agarkar will give a new player a place in the team. And if so, then who can that be?

Predicted Squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Shubman Gill, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammad Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Ishan Kishan, Sury Kumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Tilak Verma, Yuzvendra Chahal

Note- image taken from Cricket Times


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