3 Reasons Why India Will Win The Asia Cup

WHen the BCCI announced India’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup, it garnered much attention due to a particular decision. Captain Virat Kohli has been rested for the tournament as the selectors look to manage the workload of players who represent the team in all three formats.

According to MSK Prasad, who is the Chairman of Selectors, “He has been playing for quite some time and looking at the workload we have given him [Kohli] the rest. I would like to say that I was there for the third Test match and we sat for a discussion about the workload management. We need to preserve our precious players who play all three formats and looking at that workload issue we decided to rest him for the Asia Cup.”

However, despite the absence of their captain, this Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma has ample of reasons to believe that they could emerge victorious in the Asia Cup.  Here, I opine certain thoughts on why this team could return home with the coveted trophy.

#3 Return of the pace duo

India lost the recently concluded ODI series against England by a margin of 2-1, and there was one particular aspect that was missing in their bowling department. Over the past couple of years, the Indian team has banked on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah to play as the two main pacers in the ODI format.

Both these fast bowlers have something unique in their approach towards the game, something that gives the team a distinctive edge over their opponents. Kumar is an excellent proponent of swing bowling, often breaking the opposition’s opening partnership by maintaining a disciplined line and length.

Bumrah makes good use of the old ball, reverse swinging it according to the conditions and using his variations to dismantle his adversaries in the final stages of the innings.

Bumrah and Kumar missed the ODI series in England due to their respective injuries, and their return to the side would surely add more bite and strength to the team’s bowling arsenal. Moreover, the dry pitches in the UAE would benefit Bumrah, who relies on his cutters and occasional slower deliveries to notch wickets with the older ball.

#2 Variety in the bowling department

Firstly, the Indian spinners would be keen the churn out the maximum advantage from the sluggish pitches in UAE. Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul’s exclusion from the squad means that the management has paved the way for Khaleel Ahmed, the lanky left armed pacer who represented SRH in this year’s IPL.

Kuldeep Yadav’s left armed leg-spin, coupled with Yuzvendra Chahal’s leg breaks could be lethal in the middle overs, when the team would be looking to grab regular breakthroughs. Yadav and Chahal are wicket-taking bowlers, as they do not fear providing flight to the deliveries or using the variations to attain a breakthrough.

They often complement each other quite well, stiffening the opposition for runs and eventually reaping the benefits by blocking the flow of runs. Yadav’s left-armed leg spins create problems for the batsmen, especially when the opposition looks to increase the momentum of runs.

It would be interesting to observe how the team management uses Ahmed, whose unpredictability factor could actually provide some bright spark over the course of the tournament. India had lacked a good left armed pacer, and Ahmed could be provided a good run in some matches.

#1 A well-balanced batting lineup

Kohli’s exclusion from the squad could be a positive factor, as the other batsmen would have to undertake greater responsibilities as such. The team has been experimenting with the middle order, and Kedar Jadhav’s return from injury would provide more selection headache to Ravi Shastri and company.

The current batting setup has a perfect blend of experienced young players, who have been circling around the first team for long. The Asia Cup would be a good opportunity for the likes of KL Rahul and Manish Pandey to cement their place in the playing XI.

The middle order is well stocked as Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya would be assuming crucial roles in the team too. Shikhar Dhawan has always been a threat in subcontinent conditions, as his exhilarating range of strokes and the tendency to play long innings gives the team a good base to build on.

MS Dhoni adds stability, composure and experience whilst playing in the number 5 position and the team would revolve around him while chasing steep targets.

Even Rohit Sharma has demonstrated his ability to play relatively better while donning the captain’s responsibility and the team would rely on him to pace his knock and structure the course of the batting inning.

Hence, according to the points stated above, there is a huge chance this Indian team could lift the coveted Asia Cup trophy next month.

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