“In My Team, Shami Was…”: Ex-India Selector On Pacer’s Exclusion From Asia Cup Squad

The India squad for the Asia Cup was announced on Monday and the likes of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are back. Rohit Sharma will be leading the side while Rahul will act as deputy for the tournament that is set to begin from August 27. In their first game, India will square off against arch-rivals Pakistan. Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the series due to a back injury. However, Mohammed Shami’s exclusion from the squad has left a few perplexed.

Former India selector Krishnamachari Srikkanth has said that Shami was literally there if he had to select the Asia Cup team.

“In my team, Shami was literally there. If I was the Chairman of the selection committee, I think Shami would have been there and probably, I would not have gone with Ravi Bishnoi. But I still believe that Axar Patel was a serious contender in my team. It would have been a big toss-up between Axar Patel and Ashwi,” Srikkanth said on Star Sports’ show ‘Follow The Blues’.

KL Rahul returned to the Indian squad as vice-captain after recovering from injury and COVID-19. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik are the two wicket-keeping options in the squad of 15. Three specialist spinners are part of the squad which includes, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are the two all-rounders.

“I think the squad is pretty good but I think we would need one more medium pacer. We are going with one medium pacer short. Two wrist spinners is fine. I feel bad for Axar Patel, who has missed out. I am very happy for Deepak Hooda – he can bowl a bit, he’s a good hitter and he’s a good striker of the ball. What I like about Deepak Hooda is that he’s a good striker of the ball, he’s a flirter. Otherwise, this squad is a fantastic squad, only feel bad for Axar Patel,” said Srikkanth.

“I still believe that he’s a good bowling all-rounder, may be in Australia conditions. I am not going for just the Asia Cup, but yes, this must be a blue print for the ICC T20 World Cup also,” he added.

Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav are the two batting options. In Bumrah’s absence the pace attack will be led by the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar with youngsters Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh rounding up the squad.

Death overs specialist Harshal Patel is also out due to injury. Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar have been named as standbys.

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In a separate note about Bumrah and Harshal, the board added, “Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel were not available for selection owing to injuries. They are currently undergoing rehab at the NCA in Bengaluru.”

India’s squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan

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