India name 15-member squad for Asia Cup 2022; Virat Kohli, KL Rahul return
The Rohit Sharma-led side will face the Babar Azam-led Pakistan in their Asia Cup 2022 campaign opener.
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup, which is slated to begin on August 27. The former India captain Virat Kohli is back in action as he returns to the blues after a break, as he last played an international match against England in the white-ball series in July. The team will be led by all-format skipper Rohit Sharma, with KL Rahul as his deputy. Both Jasprit Bumrah (back) and Harshal Patel (side strain) are absent on account of injuries.
Kohli was rested for the recently concluded West Indies tour, but the 33-year-old is back in the mix for Asia Cup and it would be interesting to see if he is able to end the rough phase of his career. The Asia Cup will be his first international outing after July 17, 2022. Meanwhile, India’s first contest will be on August 28 when they face arch-rivals Pakistan in their campaign opener.
Further, KL Rahul has also made a return to the side after he recently missed out on plenty of cricket due to a groin injury, followed by Covid-19. Rahul was given rest during the West Indies series as the management wanted him not to strain his body. Notably, Rahul has not played any cricket after the Indian Premier League.
After putting up consistent performances for the Indian side with the bat, Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik have retained their spot in the team as India have high hopes from the duo, who can provide the big finishes in crunch situations. Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys.
Originally scheduled in Sri Lanka, the event was shifted to the UAE due to the ongoing crisis in the island nation. However, the event will still be hosted by Sri Lanka Cricket. Of the six teams, five teams have already reserved their spots in the two groups. While one group consists of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka, the other group includes India and Pakistan who will be joined by the winning member of the Asia Cup qualifiers.
India squad for Asia Cup
Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan
Standbys: Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar