Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) recently announced a 16-member Asia XI squad to take on World XI for a two-match T20I series scheduled to take place in Dhaka in the last week of March. The two T20Is will be hosted to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, regarded as the founding father of Bangladesh.
The series has been given the international status by the ICC. After a lot of reservations among cricket boards, BCB announced the tentative Asia XI squad which is expected to feature in the two T20Is.
As many as six Indian players have been named in the squad including Indian skipper Virat Kohli and star batsman KL Rahul. It has been learned that Rahul and Kohli are likely to feature only in the second T20I. However, the likes of Mohammed Shami, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Rishabh Pant, will be available for both the games.
The squad also features players from Sri Lanka, hosts Bangladesh, Afghanistan, while Sandeep Lamichhane as the only cricketer to represent Nepal.
While most of the players pick themsleves, it is still not confirmed who will be lead the side for the first T20I. Tamin Iqbal and Shikhar Dhawan are likely to open the batting while Rishabh Pant might don the wicket-keeping gloves. Mushfiqur Rahim might feature solely as a batsman. Rashid Khan and Kuldeep Yadav are two frontline options to lead the spin attack while Malinga, Mustafizur Rahman and Shami might form the three-men pace attack.
Asia XI squad: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (TBC), Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mahmudullah
Here's what the Asia XI might look like in the first T20I against World XI:
Also see – PSL 2020 schedule
Asia XI predicted XI for the first T20I: Tamim Iqbal, Shikhar Dhawan, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahman, Rishabh Pant (wk), Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Lasith Malinga, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Shami