Asia Cup 2018 Indian Squad: A SWOT Analysis
The time is ripe for Ambati Rayudu to make a strong comeback into the limited overs setup. The Hyderabad batsman had a stellar IPL with champions Chennai Super Kings which brought him once again to the fore in the circles. He scored 602 runs in the season at a healthy average of 43. He missed out in the England series after failing the Yo-Yo Test. Now, Rayudu travels to UAE with the team who is looking to rope someone in permanently to handle their middle order problems.
20-year old Khaleel Ahmed earned his maiden call-up. Although the Rajasthan pacer might find it difficult to get a game, he'll be hoping for an opportunity against the lower rung teams in the tournament.
One big news on the day of the selection of squad was that Indian skipper Virat Kohli will miss the Asia Cup. The current No.1 batsman in ODIs, Kohli has been having troubles with his back for quite some time due to which he gave his county stint before the England series a pass too. His niggles seem to persist as he talked about them during the third Test of the ongoing England vs India series. Consequently, the selectors have decided to rest the captain in order to better manage his workload.
But the absence of India's best batsman will be a huge threat looming over India's chances of winning the Cup. While the ever-reliant Rohit Sharma has been handed the ropes for leading the team, it is Kohli the batsman which India will miss more. His exclusion makes India's batting line-up look frail.
In Asia Cup 2016, India was reeling at 8 for 3 while chasing against arch-rivals Pakistan and the opposition started to believe that they were still in the game while defending a sub-par total, only for Virat Kohli to come in and send the ball all over the ground and completely take away the game from them.
The troops will be without their King at the helm but they will hope they can do everything in their power to retain the Cup.