As the most successful team in the history of the competition, India would have expected to go deep into the 2022 Asia Cup. Instead, an embarrassing exit at the Super Four stage left Pakistan to take on Sri Lanka in the final.
India now have just a brief turnaround before the biggest competition in the T20 format. The T20 World Cup begins in Australia next month and the selectors have some big calls to make before the first ball is bowled in anger.
Biggest Prize on the Horizon
The 2022 edition of cricket’s T20 World Cup will begin on October 15th with the final set to take place nearly four weeks later on November 13th. India will need to quickly address any issues within their squad, but they are still ranked highly as the tournament approaches.
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Ishan Kishan Can
The selectors will need to decide whether to put faith into Ishan Kishan. Over several seasons with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, he’s proved his ability to turn games with big knocks and power hitting.
The issue with the left hander lies in his consistency. Kishan has the capacity to make significant individual scores in this form of the game, but he has a greater tendency to be dismissed for single figures.
KL Rahul deserved a chance at the Asia Cup after returning from injury but he will be put under pressure at the top of the order. India could also turn to Shikhar Dhawan if they prefer to rely on experience.
Desperate for Jasprit
The biggest absentee in the bowling department was Jasprit Bumrah who is key to India’s success in the key overs. Bumrah has the capacity to take early wickets while keeping things quiet at the death and those are great qualities for a pace bowler to have.
Bumrah was unavailable for the Asia Cup due to injury and he is so vital to the team’s cause that India have looked to delay naming their World Cup squad. They want to give their star pace bowler every chance to recover.
A Touch of Mystery
India may also want to consider including Kuldeep Yadav in their World Cup squad. As a left arm wrist spinner, he brings something different to the team and he is difficult for batters to read when he is on form.
Kuldeep played in India’s recent T20 series with the West Indies but was not selected for the World Cup. On the harder, bouncier pitches of Australia, he may yet have something to offer.
With the exception of Jasprit Bumrah, India looked to be at full strength as they approached the Asia Cup. Selection for the World Cup in October appeared to be predictable, but that elimination in the Super Fours has caused some headaches.
Success in Australia is now very much dependent on how the selectors react to that disappointment and whether or not the final squad can respond to some poor displays.