Indian team, the Asian Giants is set to mark its presence with a full-strength squad at the Asia Cup 2023 after the squad rotations in the last 2 years which saw 4 different captains in the ODIs. The Indian team is the most successful in the ACC Asia Cup history with 7 titles. They are also reigning champions of the ODI format of the event. Whenever there is an ODI tournament, team India is always among the favorites to play in the Final. Their ODI game has been top-notch for a while now. Much of their strength comes from the top 3. Let’s break down the recent form of the India team to see where the blues are at and what to expect from them in Asia Cup 2023.
Team India has played 12 games in 2023, winning 9 and ending up on the losing side in 3 of them. They have won 5 batting first and 4 games while chasing. Their Scores in those 5 games are(latest first): 351, 385, 349, 390, 373. All are well above 300. While they failed to defend two bleak scores of 181 and 117. So, it either has been a blistering performance with the bat or a dismal one. They chased down the target 4 out of 5 times chasing 115, 191, 109, 215, and failing to get 270. This indicates that they haven’t been tested enough with needing to chase big targets but we know India Team loves chasing and they can chase any target on a given day.
The highest run-getter in 2022-23 has been the rising star, Shubman Gill with 1,433 runs to his name winning the Player of the Match award 3 times. He struck 4 tons and 6 half centuries and filled the shoes of Shikhar Dhawan gracefully. Virat Kohli also got his form back in the ODIs breaking his ODI century drought against Bangladesh in 2022 and then scoring another at the start of 2023. In the bowling department, Muhammad Siraj has been leading the charge with 43 wickets in 2022-23. With Jasprit Bumrah out of the action with his back injury, Siraj stepped up on the big stage. A startling return of Kuldeep Yadav this year has also proved valuable in India’s successes.
The Indian selectors might have a hard time regarding squad selection for the Asia Cup 2023 as injury concerns loom over some players which includes 2 set middle order batters, Kl Rahul and Shreyas Iyer which could be a big setback. The Indian Team’s playing XI could look something like this:
Rohit, Shubman, Kohli, Shreyas, Kl Rahul, Pandya, Jadeja, Shardul, Siraj, Chahal, Kuldeep.
If we talk about the Indian opener pair. It has always been of significant value. After the notable partnerships between Rohit-Dhawan just 2nd to Ganguly-Sachin. Shubman Gill is set to take Dhawan’s place and has shown immense potential to continue similarly with his skipper Rohit Sharma. They have stitched up 683 runs in 9 matches together in 2023. India’s progress to the Final and chances of winning the Cup will highly depend on their opening stands.
King Kohli will continue to bat at no 3 for India. After a dry span of 2 years. Kohli is well and truly back in his favorite format. He has his highest score in the Asia Cup, and just his presence will make the other teams think about him. He remains the main man in that batting lineup.
No 4 to No 6 batters come in at crucial times, from keeping the momentum of the game to shifting gears towards finishing games, these 3 batters are the key to holding the innings together. Shreyas Iyer made no 4 position his own. With him in doubt, this will be the most challenging decision for the team management as to who will bat at 4. Suryakumar or Gaikwad are potential candidates for this position but we might see some shuffling in the order. We saw Kl Rahul 2.0 in the ODIs where he took up the challenge of batting at no 5 and hone the gloves as well and very successfully too. He is also in doubt about the Asia Cup recovering from his injury. Ishan Kishan is the most likely replacement for the WK position. At 6 Hardik Pandya has also evolved himself into a more calm and composed batter. He finishes off games very well, picks his bowler very wisely, and knows when to shift gears. His input in the batting departments holds a crucial value in the team.
Kulcha is back! Yes, after being cut off following the disastrous bowling display against England in the World Cup, we might see Chahal and Kuldeep playing together in an ODI game. The spin twins can cause great problems for the batsmen and can change the momentum of the game in a span of overs in the Lankan conditions. Then there’s Ravindra Jadeja, you want him to come up the order, he is there. You want a wicket, you call him. He can put the brakes on with his economical and smart bowling. Ravi Jadeja is everywhere in the field, flying catches, direct hits from the boundaries, and stopping singles in the circle. A complete package and a great asset for any captain.
India has been without their main bowler, Jasprit Bumrah but the new guys have shown great potential. Siraj has led the attack vigilantly and Shardul has been an excellent addition for the middle overs. These guys can cause problems early on for the batters, take early wickets and put pressure straight away on the opposition.
This India team will be on a mission to finally have a trophy after failing to claim one in the last 5 tournaments. This will be the perfect opportunity to bring home a trophy for their fans who have been eagerly waiting for one. With the young blood rearing to go, expect some more zeal this time around when they are out on the field.