The Asia Cup 2022 will kick off on Saturday. And once again defending champions India are firm favourites to retain their title and make it a hat-trick of Asia Cup trophies.
Although the Asia Cup 2022 is an important tournament, for India is a part in the path of their way to the T20 World Cup two months later in Australia. India will be looking to finalize their best eleven, their combination regarding bowling and also test a few players who are not yet certainties in the eleven or in the squad.
The Asia Cup 2022 provides a perfect opportunity for some Indian players to showcase their skillsets and abilities at the multi-team tournament and strengthen their claim for a place in the T20 World Cup squad.
Here are 3 cricketers for whom Asia Cup 2022 is very important:
Fans and experts are confident that Dinesh Karthik will make it on the plane to Australia for the T20 World Cup. However, it is a doubt whether Karthik gets into India’s best eleven – given he plays in the niche, super-specialist role of a finisher, a basher of pacers in the death.
But for that, the management has to adjust others around him, such as sending Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel above DK in the recent games. After a terrific IPL 2022 season for RCB – where he smashed 330 runs at a strike rate of 183 – the 37-year-old cricketer made his comeback to the Indian team, and then won two Player of the Match awards – vs South Africa and West Indies.
Good shows on expected lines from DK in the Asia Cup 2022 will seal his place in the T20 World Cup squad.
Arshdeep Singh has gone from strength to strength this year: becoming the main death overs bowler for Punjab Kings in the IPL 2022 – he was the second-best death overs bowler this season – to making his India debut.
Arshdeep was the Player of the Series in the 5 T20I series vs West Indies – for taking 7 wickets at a terrific economy of 6.58. He said he was just trying “to keep things simple” and “stick with my process”.
In 2022, Arshdeep’s economy in death overs in all T20 cricket has been 6.67 – which has gotten him into the Asia Cup squad as India will miss the services of Bumrah and Harshal. However, some outstanding bowling performances in the Asia Cup will likely get Arshdeep into India’s T20 World Cup squad irrespective of whether Harshal is fit for the T20 WC or not.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s position in the T20 World Cup will largely be influenced by his results in the Asia Cup 2022. Ashwin had made his comeback to the Indian T20 team after four years at the T20 World Cup last year. And since then he has done well: 8 matches, 12 wickets and conceded at a frugal economy of 5.78.
Ravi Bishnoi as the leg-spinner whose stock ball is the googly and Deepak Hooda, who offers a handy part-time off-spin option, are other alternatives India have in their arsenal.
Ashwin will get enough chances in favourable conditions in the upcoming Asia Cup and following home T20I series vs Australia and South Africa to stake his claim for a place in the main 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.