'Can’t leave them out to be barbecued' - Saba Karim backs Avesh Khan's inclusion in Asia Cup sqaud

“I feel once you have invested in youngsters like Avesh Khan, you possibly can’t leave them out to be barbecued," said Karim.

Avesh Khan
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Avesh Khan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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The former Indian cricket selector Saba Karim has said that he is happy with the selection committee’s choices in  squad for the Asia Cup.  The BCCI announced the squad for the tournament recently, with Virat Kohli and KL Rahul returning to the team. However, Jasprit Bumrah missed out due to a back injury.

Meanwhile, there were one or two surprising inclusions as Avesh Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin made the cut. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh are the only other two options in the seam department, and the squad is loaded with spin options, with Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Hooda included.

“It’s a tough job and I am happy the way the current selection committee has picked the side for the Asia Cup. It seems pretty balanced to me. It is a solid side. It’s good to see that they are going ahead with players who have that kind of buy-in to Rohit Sharma’s strategy and his tactics,” Karim said on Sports 18 show.

You can’t leave the youngsters to be barbecued: Saba Karim

Meanwhile, many fans expressed that India should have named experienced seamer Mohammed Shami ahead of Avesh as the latter has struggled to make a big impact in international cricket so far. Avesh has taken only 11 wickets in 13 T20I matches at an average of 31.81 and a poor economy rate of 8.67 so far. On the other hand, Shami enjoyed a good Indian Premier League 2022 season with 20 wickets and guided Gujarat Titans to victory. However, Karim believes that selectors want to be consistent with youngsters despite Shami’s current form.

“I feel once you have invested in youngsters like Avesh Khan, you possibly can’t leave them out to be barbecued. Such youngsters haven’t done anything wrong. I can understand Mohammad Shami on current form is a strong bet, more so with Jasprit Bumrah out due to injury, but I just feel that the selectors want to have that kind of security, and they want to persist with the youngsters in whom they have shown so much of faith.

Shami last played T20I cricket against Namibia in the 2021 World Cup, and his recent exclusion from the 2022 Asia Cup squad indicates that selectors are looking to give more chances to young pacers.