3 Indian players who can seal their World Cup spot through the Asia Cup
"We are closing in on those core group of players around whom the places will be revolving around here on till the World Cup. We have already closed down on that. Two-three slots we are yet to finalise. So for those slots, we will be looking at these 24 matches (coming up before the World Cup)."
This is what India's chief selector MSK Prasad said while announcing the 16-member squad for the Asia Cup. When analyzing deeper into the spots up for grab, No. 4 spot is the one on which team management must be focused as no player as yet has been able to make it his own since Yuvraj Singh last played for India. With the return of Rayudu, Pandey, and Jadhav in the squad, Indian team is all set to play another round of musical chairs in the middle order and when you place KL Rahul and Suresh Raina (who is not the part of the Indian squad for Asia Cup) in the mix, the battle gets even more interesting.
Let us take a look at 3 players who can use this Asia Cup as a chance to bolster their chances to grab a flight to England in 2019 and be a part of India's World Cup squad:
#1 Ambati Rayudu
After an impressive IPL, his personal best, Ambati Rayudu was all set to take center stage in International cricket when he was selected for the Indian limited overs squad for the series against Ireland & England. However, he was subsequently shown the door for failing a Yo-yo test before he could board the flight to Ireland.
However, rather than being disheartened by the snub, Rayudu worked on his fitness and passed the Yo-yo test recently and since then he has featured for India A in the Quadrangular series involving India B, Australia A & South Africa A, where he was the 3rd highest run scorer in the tournament which includes a couple of half-centuries and a match-winning 48.
Rayudu last played for India against Zimbabwe in 2016, when a second-string side toured there but has forced his way back with a prolific IPL season in which he scored 602 runs at an average of 43.00 and a strike rate of 149.75.
As things stand, Ambati Rayudu will surely get a look into the playing XI during the Asia Cup and a good show here will help him to seal his spot for the World Cup.