With exactly two weeks left for the start of the Asia Cup, former India head coach and ex-selectors Sandeep Patil and MSK Prasad chalked out their ideal 15-man squad for the tournament. Heading into the tournament, India have a few areas to address, especially with the absence of KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah from the scene. While Rahul and Iyer are still recovering from their respective injuries, Bumrah is all set to make his comeback during the T20I series against Ireland.
Prasad and Shastri had contrasting views on Rahul and Iyer’s fitness, with the latter suggesting that the star batters should play a few matches before featuring in a significant tournament.
“They have to play matches, give them some matches before the Asia Cup. They should be picked in the team na. Abhi to shuru ho jata hai Asia Cup (Asia Cup is about to start now). Where will they play?,” Shastri said on Star Sports’ Selection Day show.
Prasad, on the other hand, closely watched Rahul at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), and was convinced that the player is fit enough.
“I’ve seen KL Rahul playing in the NCA because I was there for the last one week… he might end up playing. They have already organised two matches for him,” Prasad added.
Patil als echoed Shastri’s sentiments, and highlighted the difference between net practice and real-time match situations
“Playing in the nets and playing in the matches is different, totally different.
While citing the example of Bumrah, Shastri suggested that a player should not be rushed into the team after a long term lay-off.
“Injuries happen. You have to be careful. You try to rush just with Bumrah. Not once, not twice, three times, I mean and he’s been sitting out for 14 months now,” Shastri concluded.
Star Sports’ Experts 15-man Asia Cup Squad:
Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma (capt.), Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Jasprit Bumrah.
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