Asia XI vs World XI: 3 Indian players who have missed out from the Asian squad

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

Asia XI will take on World XI in the two T20I matches organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on March 21st and 22nd at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka to celebrate the birth centenary of the country's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. With the final of 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL) being scheduled on March 22nd, Pakistani players haven't been named in the Asia XI squad as they will be busy in their PSL duties. The squads of both Asia XI and World XI look formidable and it promises to be an entertaining affair for the fans across the globe.

The Asia XI comprises of six Indian players - Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, and Shikhar Dhawan. While Shami, Pant, Kuldeep and Dhawan will be available for both the games, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli (participation is subjected to confirmation) are likely to feature in one of the two matches. Though six Indian players have made the cut in Asia XI, several top Indian players haven't been named in the squad announced by BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon. On that note, let us look at three Indian players who have missed out on a spot in Asia XI.

#1 MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

MS Dhoni is undoubtedly the most successful skipper of all time having won the ICC Cricket T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, Test Championship mace, Asia Cup, IPL and the now-defunct Champions League T20. He enjoys immense popularity among the cricketing fraternity across the globe given his fiery batting, in-depth knowledge about the game, captaincy records and calm demeanour under pressure. 'Captain Cool' was last seen in action during India's heart-breaking semi-final loss against New Zealand at Manchester during 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

However, the 38-year old will be making his much-awaited comeback after eight long months during the upcoming edition of IPL which kicks-off on March 29th at Wankhede Stadium with the defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on Men in Yellow in the season13 opener. Dhoni was a part of the Asia XI during the three-match ODI series against Africa XI during 2007 Afro-Asia Cup which was held in Bengaluru and Chennai. Having managed 2 and 33 runs in the first two games, the wicket-keeper batsman unleashed his best at Chepauk in the third and final fixture of the series.

Dhoni's man of the match winning knock (139* off 97 balls) comprised fifteen fours and five sixes. Given his immense experience and credentials, he should have been made the cut for the upcoming Asia XI vs World XI fixtures to be played at Dhaka. Unfortunately, the 2007 Afro-Asia Cup winner and two-time Asia Cup winning skipper (ODI format in 2010, T20I format in 2016) will not be seen in action during the two matches between star-studded Asia XI and World XI teams.

#2 Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma

This astonishing player from Mumbai is known for creating world records with his scintillating display of batting irrespective of the format. Currently, the second-highest run-getter in the history of T20Is (just 21 runs behind leader Virat Kohli) with 2773 runs, the 'Hitman' has made 108 T20I appearances for the Men in Blue. Sharma holds the record of the most centuries scored by a batsman in the history of T20Is - four. The only player to have amassed three double-centuries in ODIs, he also holds the record for the highest individual score in the 50-over format - 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Moreover, he is not just the most successful player in the history of IPL (five titles so far), he is also the most successful skipper having led the Mumbai Indians franchise to the glory in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 editions of the league. It is disappointing to see the 32-year old ruled out of the ODIs and the ongoing Test series against New Zealand due to calf injury missing out on a much-deserved spot in the Asia XI.

#Note: All Statistics are as of February 28, 2020

#3 Hardik Pandya

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya

A permanent fixture in the Indian limited-overs set-up, Pandya was last seen in action during September 2019 during the home T20I series against South Africa. The all-rounder who was ruled out for five months due to a lower back injury underwent surgery in October last year. His progress was constantly monitored not just by the team management but also by the fans given the kind of impact he can bring in for India. While he was expected to make his much-awaited comeback during 2020 IPL, the 26-year old has already returned to action in the ongoing 2020 DY Patil T20 tournament where he is currently plying his trade for Reliance.

A hard-hitting batsman and a valuable right-arm medium-fast bowler, the Mumbai Indians star is a valuable limited-overs commodity given his all-round credentials. Having proved his worth on several occasions for India as well as Mumbai Indians, Pandya would have been an exciting addition to the Asia XI squad and it is unfortunate to have left out a versatile player like him for the high-octane games between two quality sides comprising several match winners.

Also see | Asia XI vs World XI: Asia XI's predicted playing XI for the first T20I

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Edited by rehaan díaz
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