The Rohit Sharma-led squad features Suryakumar Yadav, who has been retained despite a lackluster ODI record. Young batter, who impressed on T20I debut in West Indies, also finds a place in the Asia Cup squad. Pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who made his comeback after 11 months in the ongoing series in Ireland, has also been picked. However, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been retained as vice-captain of the squad.
Among other Indian pacers, the selectors have picked Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Prasidh Krishna. Prominently, there is no place for leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who has been left out in favor of Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. There were reports that Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar were also being considered. Skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that there was a debate over the spin department.
"We had a deep discussion about an off-spinner and a leg-spinner as well. But see, things boil down to batting options at Nos. 8 and 9. We wanted someone who can bat there. Axar had a good run this year, did well in white-ball cricket. With him being there, it allows us that option of firstly having that left-hander who can go up and play the spinners and then he creates for us that batting depth. We talked about Ashwin and Washington as well. As you saw, even Chahal missed out because we can only get 17 players in," Rohit explained.
On Varma’s inclusion, chairman of selectors Agarkar stated that the think tank has an opportunity to give him some exposure.
"In West Indies, we saw some real promise in terms of not just performances but the temperament. And it gives us an opportunity to take him with the team, give him some more exposure; a left-hander again, looks very promising. So fortunately we can take 17 here, it'll be 15 at the World Cup. So when the time comes we'll take that decision, but at the moment it at least gives the coach and captain an opportunity to have him with the squad," the former pacer commented.
India’s Asia Cup 2023 Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (VC), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Prasidh Krishna, Sanju Samson (backup)
--By A Cricket Correspondent