Virat Kohli has been named to India’s T20I squad for the Asia Cup. Meanwhile, Jasprit Bumrah is out due to a back injury.
Kohli returned after months of hiatus following the conclusion of the England tour on July 17. Meanwhile, Bumrah did not go to the West Indies after the campaign in England. He has been rested for the upcoming ODI series in Zimbabwe. It was reported that Bumrah had back spasms last week.
Kohli has only played four T20I matches and missed 19 since the T20 World Cup last year. He scored 81 runs at an average of 20 with a strike rate of 128.57. For Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2022, the former India skipper has only recorded 341 runs, an average of 22.73, and a strike rate of 116. He only managed to score 1 and 11 in his most recent T20Is in England.
Just like Bumrah, Kohli will miss the ODIs in Zimbabwe, having been rested since the recent ODI and T20I series in the Caribbean.
While there have been concerns regarding Kohli’s form as of late, West Indies legendary cricketer Brian Lara said he supported his return.
"I respect Virat Kohli as a player, but you see, he is going to come out of it as a much better player. He will be learning a lot of things at this point in time. You cannot write him off," Lara said.
In addition to Bumrah and Kohli, Harshal Patel will also be out due to injuries. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that Bumrah and Patel were undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
Asia Cup overview
India is the reigning champion of the Asia Cup, which was last played in the ODI format back in 2018. They won the title defeating Bangladesh in a last-ball thriller in Dubai.
This year, Asia Cup will be played in the T20 format, and India is set to begin their campaign against Pakistan on August 28. It will be the first match between both countries since their last encounter in the T20 World Cup last year.
The teams will be divided into two groups. Group A comprises India, Pakistan, and the team that wins the qualifying tournament. Those who compete for the spot are the UAE, Kuwait, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Group B comprises Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Ten matches will take place in Dubai and three in Sharjah.
Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, and Deepak Hooda have reportedly retained their positions in India’s T20I squad for the Asia Cup. Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, and Deepak Chahar were all selected as stand-by players. Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will be leading the team.
Rahul returns to the Indian squad as vice-captain after recovering from an injury and COVID-19. Risabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik will be the two options for wicketkeeper.
Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav are the two batting options for the squad. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are also included and will serve as all-rounders.
Despite his inexperience, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be replacing Bumrah. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Sanju Samson are all left out of the 15-man squad. The three participated in the five-T20I series against West Indies.
There will be three specialist spinners in the squad, namely Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravi Bishnoi.