VVS Laxman, one of the most successful cricketers of his time, will be playing for the first ever edition of the Asia Cup in Abu Dhabi. The tournament is being played between 14 February and 3 March and India are one of the six teams participating in it.
The former India captain has been named in India’s squad for the Asia Cup which also features some other big names like Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey. The ace batsman will play along with some of his childhood friends from Mumbai under Virat Kohli’s leadership.
This makes sense since a lot of these players have also grown up playing alongside each other in local club leagues across Mumbai. Virat said that he would often see these guys playing cricket together when he was growing up as well.
He told reporters at a press conference that they all have now blossomed into top cricketers and they will be representing their city very well at this tournament. There is a huge amount of excitement surrounding this team and it’s sure to get even bigger if they do well at this tournament!
India squad for Asia Cup
Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Yuvrand Singh, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Dhawal Kulkarni, Axar Patel, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Rahul Sharma, Amit Mishra, Anukul Thakur, Siddarth Kaul, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Shikhar Dhawan and Karun Nair dropped from ODI team West Indies, who had recently toured India, were the first team to be whitewashed when they lost to India in a 3-0 ODI series.
Next up was Sri Lanka in a five-match ODI series that began on 7 January. When Sri Lanka toured India for a four-match ODI series in October and November, Karun and Shikhar were the seniors in the team. But, both the players couldn’t impress the selectors enough and got axed from the national team. After the completion of the series, the selectors didn’t include Karun and Shikhar. They have been replaced by Mohammed Siraj and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar in the 16-man squad for the three ODIs and a T20I against Sri Lanka which begins on 14 February in Sri Lanka.
Yuvraj Singh, Lokesh Rahul, and Mohammed Shami included in the team
Yuvraj Singh, who was part of the World Cup-winning team in 2011, has been included in the 16-man squad while Lokesh Rahul and Mohammed Shami were left out of the team. Yuvraj has been a part of India squad even at the age of 38 and was recalled to the national team after a gap of two years.
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He was also part of the team that won the World Cup in 2011. Yuvraj has also played some List A matches in domestic tournaments since the World Cup but this will be his first experience in the longest format of the game.
Lokesh, who was part of the World Cup-winning team in 2015, was also left out after his poor run with the bat in the Ranji Trophy in which he scored just 246 runs in eight matches. He has been included in the squad after a pasting from the selectors. The all-rounder was also part of the team in the World Cup in 2015.
What to expect from this India vs Bangladesh match?
The pressure is on the Indian team to perform well as they are hosting the Asia Cup in India for the first time. The team has been training under the watchful eyes of their captain and former skipper Virat Kohli, who has been motivating the team all throughout this tournament.
The team will be looking to put up a good show in this match and continue with their good run of form. The Bangladeshi team has been in good form as well and will be looking to prove their mettle against the Indian team. The heat and the pitch conditions in Sri Lanka are quite favourable and will help the Indian batsmen as well as the bowlers to put up a good show.
Look out for in this match
Gautam Gambhir’s return – Gambhir, who retired from international cricket in 2016, has been the part of the Indian team during the World Cup in 2007. He has been a part of the national team during the recent series in Sri Lanka and Pakistan apart from the Asia Cup. He is expected to come back to the national side and play a few matches before going back to the ranks.
After a tough World Cup campaign, India will be looking to get back to winning ways in the Asia Cup. They will be hosting the tournament for the first time and will have a lot to prove against other top teams in the Asia Cup.
They will be taking on Bangladesh in the first match and the Indian fans will be hoping that the team goes into the match with the right mindset and plays their best cricket. The team has a good mix of experience and youth, and they will be looking to impress against the other teams in the tournament.