The much-awaited India vs Pakistan blockbuster headlines the Asia Cup 2022 on Sunday (August 28), but for some of the Indian players, it's more than just that one marquee encounter.
With the edition marking the return of some of the big names in the squad (yet to be announced), the think-tank will pretty much play a XI that will take the field at the ICC T20 World Cup later this year.
The tournament is all high stakes as some of India's best will look to hit the straps. Ahead of the all-important tournament set to get underway later this month, we take a look at three players who will need to have a great Asia Cup.
#1 All eyes are on Virat Kohli at the Asia Cup 2022
Virat Kohli suiting up for India in the Asia Cup 2022 is welcome news. It's also an opportunity for India's ace batter to strike some form that seems to have deserted him for some time now.
The tournament is the perfect opportunity for the likes of Kohli to get some runs under his belt as he walks in at No.3. He's made that slot his own despite the multitude of options India have at their disposal.
It's not all roses for the batter as he faces a stiff challenge in Pakistan. Bangladesh and Afghanistan could be a handful as well and the focus will be on Kohli having a run-filled outing.
#2 KL Rahul
Injuries seem to have thrown KL Rahul's international career off the road for a bit. The Karnataka batter and India's most bankable opener will be among the players looking to make a comeback in style.
Rahul has traditionally enjoyed playing in the T20 format and has had a good run in IPL 2022. He will look to replicate the form in the Asia Cup and will hope to keep the momentum going as India play a string of games post the much-awaited contest.
#3 Hardik Pandya
The Indian all-rounder has always been a big-match player for India and has been rested in the ongoing series against WI as part of his workload management. Pandya's pyrotechnics with the bat and his ability to deliver with the ball makes him an asset for India.
However, the break might look detrimental if he fails to fire in the tournament. With the T20 World Cup looming, Pandya will be hoping to have a good run and cement his place in the already-crowded middle order.