DUBAI: Right through the 25-minute press conference on Saturday, Team India head coach Rahul Dravid maintained that he intended to play the best playing XI even as captain Rohit Sharma has been insisting that experimentation would continue in the ongoing Asia Cup.
While the batting order looks more or settled, it’s the bowling combination that needs to be worked on. For Dravid, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel will walk in once they are available for selection. In this scenario, Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan are likely to be in the line of fire. On Sunday against Pakistan, Avesh didn’t turn up at the stadium. He was reported to be feeling feverish on the eve of the match. He was asked to get more rest in the hotel.
India decided to go with an extra spinner in Ravi Bishnoi. Avesh, who has evolved as a steady T20 bowler over the last two IPLs, has struggled to find his radar in the international arena. Arshdeep too is at a very nascent stage of his career but has looked promising. His can swing the new ball and hold his nerve under pressure.
The Indian team management has worked on the philosophy of getting a good, youngish package of fast bowlers for T20Is. Which is why someone like Mohammad Shami has been ignored despite having a good IPL.
“Few players will miss out who did well when they were given the opportunities, but it is up to the team combination. We had to have difficult conversations. There are 5-6 players outside the 15 we have selected here, I have had some discussions. Those were not easy ones. You have to respect that. But players are also wise enough to understand. There is real quality among those who are sitting out of the XI,” Dravid had said on Saturday.
“In T20 cricket, you need more players with multiple skills. At least, there needs to be agility while fielding. The team management has had those conversations with Shami. As regards to Ashwin, captain Rohit feels more comfortable with him in the team. He wants one off-spinning option,” a source told TOI.


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By Dipak

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