Asia Cup 2018: 5 Indian players who are likely to miss out from the Playing XI
The 2018 Asia Cup, will be starting in UAE from 15th of September. It will see the six best teams of Asia viz. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Hong Kong fighting against each other for the top honours.
The defending champions, India come into this tournament, as the favourites to win it, for a record seventh time. However, the other teams are also very strong, especially Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. So the Indian team needs to be at their very best, throughout the tournament.
The 16-member Indian team for the tournament was selected on 1st of September, 2018. India's star player and regular captain, Virat Kohli has been given rest. In absence of Kohli, Rohit Sharma will be leading the team in the tournament.
The Indian Team for the Asia Cup 2018:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC) , KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed.
Except Virat Kohli, most of the other star players like MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya are in the team. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also making a comeback into the team, after an injury layoff.
Along with the experienced stars, there are also some new faces in the squad, like pacers Khaleel Ahmed and Shardul Thakur.
Choosing the playing XI from this sixteen member squad will not be easy for the team management, as all these players are very good.
In this article, we try and list out the 5 players, who are most likely to miss out from the final XI, that will take the field.
1. #Batsman: Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey had a very promising start to his ODI career. He looked set for a long and successful career as a middle-order batsman for India. However, in the last two seasons, his performances have been very inconsistent. As a result of which, he has been constantly in and out of the side.
In the upcoming Asia Cup, KL Rahul is most likely to bat at the number three slot, vacated due to Kohli's absence. At number four, it will either be Rayadu or Manish Pandey. Going by recent form, Rayadu seems to be the favourite.
Another slot in the batting lineup, which is up for grabs for Manish Pandey, is the number 6 slot. There also, Kedar Jadhav seems to be ahead of him. This is because Jadhav is a better hitter than Pandey and he can also bowl some handy overs, if required.
So among the middle-order batsmen in the squad, Manish Pandey is most likely to miss out from a place in the playing XI.
2. #Wicket-Keeper Batsman: Dinesh Karthik
As MS Dhoni is in the squad, it is very unlikely that Dinesh Karthik will be chosen ahead of Dhoni, as the wicket keeper batsmen, in the playing XI. Although in the recent past, Karthik has been tried out as a specialist middle-order batsmen in the ODI team, he has not been very successful, in that role.
Moreover, after his poor batting efforts in England, it is very unlikely that he will be included in the playing XI, as a specialist batsman. So it is almost certain that Karthik will be missing out from the Final XI.
3. #All-rounder: Axar Patel
This young left-handed bowling all-rounder is a very good prospect for India. He has been in excellent form in his recent county stint. Looking at the future, Axar has been chosen ahead of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, as the spinner all-rounder.
However, with Hardik Pandya in the squad, the all-rounder's spot in the playing XI will be going to him. With two of the best spinners in the world -- Kuldeep and Chahal, also in the squad, Axar will not be able to make the Playing XI as a spinner also. Hence he is most likely to miss out from the playing XI.
4. #Bowlers: Shardul Thakur and Khaleel Ahmed
The Asia Cup would have been an ideal platform for both these young pacers to show their talent. However, with two of the best pacers in the world, viz Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the squad, these two youngsters will have to wait for their opportunity.
As Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah and Hardik are most likely to lead the Indian pace attack, Shardul and Khaleel will most probably be sitting out.