India's Best XI for Asia Cup 2018
Even though India's run machine – Virat Kohli – is being rested for Asia Cup, the baton has been handed to Rohit Sharma. Despite India's failure against the English team in the recently concluded red-ball series, India is definitely the strongest team on cards and looks all set to retain the Asia Cup. India's only concern is about playing two games on the trot with the second game being against arch-rivals, Pakistan.
With the tournament starting on 15th September, India kicks off their campaign on 18th September against minnows Hong Kong and is slotted to play the big game against Pakistan the very next day.
It is likely that KL Rahul, riding on a consolatory hundred in the last test, will open the innings with Rohit Sharma ahead of Shikhar Dhawan. In absence of Kohli at the regular number 3 slot, India can bring in Ambati Rayudu who has been in prolific touch since the last year. Manish Pandey looks promising as ever to fill in the number 4 slot. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni behind the stumps, India can also afford to play Dinesh Karthik purely
as a batsman. Depending on the pitch, India can swap the all-rounder position between the first choice Hardik Pandya and Axar Patel. India does have Kedar Jadhav, but it looks negligent that India will use him as the fifth bowling option. The debutant Khaleel Ahmed could be also tried in the game against Hong Kong in place of the two regular front-line limited over seamers. India's spinning twins' Kul-Cha' could yet again prove to be a decisive factor.
Here is India's best XI going into the Asia Cup 2018.
- Rohit Sharma
- Lokesh Rahul
- Ambati Rayudu
- Manish Pandey
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk)
- Dinesh Karthik
- Hardik Pandya/Axar Patel
- Bhuvenshwar Kumar
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Yuzvendra Chahal