Predicting Team India’s Asia Cup 2022 squad

Team India squad for Asia Cup 2022 T20 tournament is expected to be announced on August 8th. The majority of the players selected for the Asian Cup are likely to travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup later this year.

Indian selectors have frequently rested their key players in recent months. According to a PTI report, however, that will change after the Asian Cup. A source was quoted as telling the news outlet:

“Virat (Kohli) had spoken to selectors that he would be available from the Asian Cup. The first-team players will hardly recover from the Asia Cup until the end of the World T20. So this is a two-week window after the Windies tour where they can rest.”

With so much speculation surrounding the team selection for the upcoming T20 tournament, we predict Team India squad for Asia Cup 2022.

KL Rahul and Deepak Chahar go in search of a place

KL Rahul during the ODI series in South Africa. Image: Getty Images
KL Rahul during the ODI series in South Africa. Image: Getty Images

Veteran batsman KL Rahul is expected to return to the Indian squad for the Asian Cup. He would likely make a comeback for the ongoing five-game T20Is against West Indies after undergoing rehabilitation following his athletic hernia surgery.

However, he was eventually ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19. A source from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was quoted as telling PTI about the batter:

“KL Rahul doesn’t have to prove anything. He’s a top-notch player. Whenever he plays T20, it’s always a specialist as an opener and it would stay that way. Surya (Suryakumar Yadav) and Rishabh (Pant) will play as specialists, mid-tier batters that go into the future.”

In Rahul’s absence, Rishabh Pant opened up the batting in England while Suryakumar Yadav fills in the duties in the ongoing T20I series against the West Indies. Alongside Rahul, Pacer Deepak Chahar will also return to the T20I roster. He has already been called up to the ODI squad which will play three games against Zimbabwe in Harare from 18-22 August.

Chahar suffered a quadriceps tear at home during the white ball series against West Indies in February and has not played for India since. A subsequent back injury while recovering at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru ruled him out of IPL 2022.

The 29-year-old has been a key member of the T20I squad since his debut. He has a knack for picking up wickets at crucial intervals. His improved hitting skills also give him the upper hand over some of the other pace bowling competitors.

Automatic selection?

Suryakumar Yadav: Unconventional and effective. Image: Getty Images
Suryakumar Yadav: Unconventional and effective. Image: Getty Images

A number of players are likely to be automatically included in India’s Asian Cup squad. Rohit Sharma will return as captain after being rested for the ODIs against Zimbabwe. There has been a lot of debate over Virat Kohli’s place in the Indian team but unless he is at the Asian Cup it is unlikely he will be part of the T20 World Cup squad. Also, expect him to come back.

Suryakumar was briefly criticized after seven consecutive low scores to continue his terrific hundreds in his third T20I in England. However, it seemed only a matter of time before he delivered. The 31-year-old settled all debates about his position in the side with a brilliant 44-ball 76 in the third T20I against West Indies at St Kitts.

Shifting the focus to the wicketkeepers, it seems all but certain that both Pant and Dinesh Karthik will feature in the T20 World Cup squad. So they should also be at the Asian Cup. Pant’s fabulous hundred under pressure in the crucial ODI in England sealed his place. Karthik gave another excellent demonstration of his finishing skills with his 19-ball 41* in the opening T20I against the West Indies.

The all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja also rely on the weight of their performances. Among the bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah will once again lead the charge. Until a few months ago there were question marks over Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s place in the team. But he’s rediscovered his mojo and won’t be left out of the T20 squad due to his experience and skill with the ball.

Fitness permitting, Harshal Patel should also be in the squad as his variations in difficult situations have made a huge difference. Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was surprisingly knocked out of the T20 World Championship last year, but he’s come back stronger and playing with a lot more poison. Expect him to be Team India’s leading spinner at the Asia Cup.

Two slots, too many competitors

Will Arshdeep Singh make Asian Cup 2022 squad?
Will Arshdeep Singh make Asian Cup 2022 squad?

While 13 players are more or less certain to make the Asian Cup squad, there is massive competition for the remaining two spots. Contenders include Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Bishnoi.

Among the above names, Axar and Arshdeep could find a place in the 15-man squad for the upcoming UAE tournament. The former has an advantage over Ashwin because he’s also a better hitter and fielder. Ashwin has done nothing wrong but it seems difficult for him to be on the flight to Australia.

Arshdeep was pretty much an outsider. However, in the four T20Is he’s played, he’s made such a massive impression that selectors might find it hard to let him down. As a left-hander, he also offers variety with quality, which has been lacking in the Indian bowling offense in recent years.

Hooda will be unlucky to miss if he is not selected. He has impressed with the opportunities that have been given to him. However, since Kohli will return, there will be no place for him in the middle class. Shreyas is also likely to lose his place to Suryakumar. Only one of them can fit in the T20I roster and the former’s short ball problems could cost him his spot.

Team India’s expected 15-man squad for the 2022 Asia Cup

Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya (Vice Captain), Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh .

Also read: India’s Upcoming Cricket Matches Ahead of T20 World Cup 2022: Full Schedule, Venues and Seasons in IST

Q. Should Virat Kohli be included in India’s 2022 Asian Cup squad?

56 votes so far Predicting Team India’s Asia Cup 2022 squad

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