Aakash Chopra names his ideal India squad for Asia Cup 2022

Chopra said that he would prefer to have Deepak Hooda in the team over Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson.

Aakash Chopra
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Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Instagram)

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Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra has named his squad for the Asia Cup 2022, which is set to be held in the UAE later this month. The cricketer-turned-commentator believes that KL Rahul should open alongside skipper Rohit Sharma now that he is fit and ready to play. Rahul has been out of the mix for quite some time now, but Chopra feels that he should start India’s batting as Ishan Kishan has been side-lined recently.

The highly regarded continental competition is scheduled to take place from August 27 and will go on till September 11. The Indian selectors will look to prepare a strong squad for the Asia Cup as the likes of a similar bunch playing the T20 World Cup later this year is possible. India’s first contest is scheduled against Pakistan for August 28.

“KL Rahul will open if he is available. So Rahul with Rohit – simple, straightforward but this is the same Rahul and Rohit with whom you needed Ishan Kishan in the last World Cup. After that, you made Ishan open a lot, he made a lot of runs but when you are nearing the selection, you have put him in cold storage,” said Chopra in a video on his YouTube channel.

In recent times, India has played both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI with the former being the wicketkeeper-batter and the latter stepping into the finisher’s role in the team while batting down the order, majorly during the death overs. However, Chopra believes that Pant and Karthik will compete for the position of wicketkeeper-batter in the starting XI.

“So my 15-member squad will be Rahul with Rohit, Virat Kohli at three. Suryakumar Yadav at No. 4, I want him to come at his original number. Hardik at No. 5, then Rishabh Pant. There is going to be a shoot-out between him and Dinesh Karthik but both will be part of the squad. I have written Pant’s name at No. 6 but it’s not his batting order. After that, I have written Hooda’s name,” Chopra added.

Only one out of Hooda, Shreyas, and Sanju Samson can be picked: Aakash Chopra

Chopra thinks that Deepak Hooda should be picked ahead of Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson as the team’s additional batter. With so many batting options available, it would undoubtedly be difficult for the Indian selectors to make a decision. The three spinners chosen by Chopra for his team are Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Yuzvendra Chahal. He chose Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Arshdeep Singh as his four-seamers.

“Only one out of Hooda, Shreyas, and Sanju Samson can be picked. In my opinion, it has to be Deepak Hooda because the skill set he brings his unique, he also bowls off-spin. After that, Jadeja, Ashwin, and Chahal. Jaddu and Chahal will play and if you have included Ashwin so late, you will also want to keep him with you. Kuldeep, Ravi Bishnoi, and Axar Patel also have a strong case, so there can be some commotion,” Chopra added.

“Then Bumrah and Bhuvi, there is no doubt about that. I am assuming Harshal Patel is unavailable, then Arshdeep Singh, I will keep Mohammad Shami in my team, and Dinesh Karthik. If India is allowed to pick a 16th player, I think it will be Axar Patel because there are some question marks over Jaddu’s fitness,” he concluded.

Aakash Chopra’s Indian squad for the Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami.