India’s Asia Cup and T20 WC squad likely to be same

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Selecting the 15-man squad for the three ODIs against Zimbabwe was the easier decision to make for the national selectors who met virtually on Saturday (30 July). The difficult task will come in a week’s time when the selectors converge again to pick the squad for the Asia Cup. The deadline to announce the team for the Asia Cup is 8 August.

It can be said with a degree of certainty that the team picked for the Asia Cup will almost be the same that will travel to Australia for the Twenty20 World Cup in October-November, discounting the exigencies in the form of injuries. The same set of players will also feature in the six T20I games against Australia and South Africa in September and October. The selectors want to give the team management a sufficient number of games to play with ahead of the World Cup.

It is obvious that all the big guns will be back for the Asia Cup – Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul included. The three are missing from the T20I squad in the West Indies currently, due to personal and health reasons.

A health update on Rahul was discussed at the selection meeting on Saturday and it is learnt that the Karnataka batter has still not fully recovered from Covid. He is expected to be fit for the Asia Cup, which has been relocated to the UAE from Sri Lanka recently by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The tournament is set to kick off on 27 August with the final scheduled to be held on 11 September.

With the selectors expected to announce the team for the Asia Cup on 8 August, the Twenty20 World Cup aspirants have exactly four more games – against the West Indies currently – to stake their claim. India lead 1-0 in the five-match series which ends on 7 August in Florida, US.

(Agencies)