'Rishabh Pant has capacity to open' - Mahela Jayawardene assesses India's squad ahead of Asia Cup

'India is always trying to bring next generation of cricketers,' said Jayawardene.

Mahela Jayawardena
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Mahela Jayawardene. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene spoke about the Indian team going into the 2022 Asia Cup, which is set to commence on August 27 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  Jayawardene reckons that it will be a concern for India that KL Rahul would go into the tournament without any game time.

He added that the sooner Rahul gets some game time, the sooner he gets the confidence back, the better it is for himself and India. He also spoke about Rishabh Pant as an option for opening the batting, saying that although he has not done much in the circuit, he has the capacity to do that.

“India is always trying to bring that next generation of cricketers,” said Jayawardene on the ICC Review Podcast. “The Zimbabwe tour is a good opportunity for those guys to get a hit out there. (On Pant opening the innings) It is an option, even though he hasn’t done much in domestic cricket. But he has the capacity to do that.” 

One of those India and Pakistan will be in the Asia Cup final: Mahela Jayawardene

Jayawardene shared his thoughts about Virat Kohli’s lean patch with the bat that he is currently going through. He called it “unfortunate” but he believes that he has the tools to come out of the slump. Regarding resting Kohli for the India tour of Zimbabwe, he feels that it is a conversation that the Indian batter would have had with the management and the coach.

“It is unfortunate what Virat [Kohli] is going through at the moment. But I think he is a quality player. It would have been a conversation that Rahul [Dravid] and the management would have had with Virat. I think there have been some very positive conversations,” added the former Sri Lankan captain.

“Class is something that is permanent, form is temporary. My belief is that Virat has the tools to come out of it. He has done that in the past as well. I’m sure he will come through this,” added the 45-year-old. He believes that it is between Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India to win the 2022 Asia Cup.

“One of those two (India and Pakistan) will be in the final. The advantage is probably between India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. For me, it will be one of those teams [winning the Asia Cup]”, concluded Jayawardene.