India will kick off their Asia Cup title defence on August 28, 2022, against arch-rivals Pakistan in Dubai. The Asia Cup 2022 will start a day prior, August 27, with Sri Lanka, the designated hosts of the tournament, taking on Afghanistan.
Rohit Sharma had led India to the Asia Cup 2018 title victory when Virat Kohli was rested. Now Rohit is the full-time captain of the Indian side. While the 2018 Asia Cup was in the ODI format, the Asia Cup 2022 is in T20 format, keeping in mind the T20 World Cup 2022 in October in Australia.
The BCCI has announced a 15-man Indian squad, plus three reserve players, for the Asia Cup 2022:
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
Standbys: Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar
Here are 5 players from the 2018 Asia Cup winning squad who will not be part of this year’s tournament:
Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer and Man of the Tournament of the previous edition of the Asia Cup. He had amassed 342 runs in 5 matches with two centuries at an average of 68.
However, Dhawan isn’t part of the team now: he’s been dropped from the T20I team a year ago; he continues to be the first-choice opener in ODIs, but the Asia Cup 2022 is in T20 format, so Dhawan won’t be part of the side this time.
Kedar Jadhav played a crucial role in the final win over Bangladesh in the 2018 Asia Cup, scoring 23* off 27 balls and calmly finished the chase with a single on the last ball of the game. Jadhav got to bat thrice in that tournament and remained unbeaten twice, including in the final, and finished with 70 runs.
Jadhav was dropped from the Indian team during the 2019 ODI World Cup and his last international match came in February 2020.
Ambati Rayudu had a decent Asia Cup 2018, finishing with 175 runs at an average of 43 with a couple of fifties to his name. Although his last T20I came in 2016, Rayudu seemingly was a key member of the ODI side in the lead-up to the 2019 WC.
However, after one bad series – vs Australia – he was discarded by the selectors for “3-dimensional” Vijay Shankar for the 2019 WC. And when Dhawan and Shankar were injured in the tournament, the selectors sent Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal as replacements but not Rayudu which led to Rayudu announcing his international retirement.
Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed took 4 wickets in the 2 matches he played in the Asia Cup 2022 and was impressive at containing runs, which his economy of 4.6 is evident of. But that faded away and he’s part of the Indian team anymore.
Khaleel is currently resurging his career after he took 16 wickets in IPL 2022 for Delhi Capitals but still couldn’t get back in the Indian squad. He had made big waves when in 2018 and 2019 in domestic cricket and in the IPL which saw him get 25 matches for India in those two years.
But the next two years brought struggles with form and fitness that took him away from the national side. 24-year-old Khaleed though has time on his hand to make a comeback to the Indian team.
MS Dhoni played the last five editions of the Asia Cup but won’t be seen this time as the former skipper retired from international cricket in 2020. He led India to Asia Cup wins in 2010 and 2016.
During the previous Asia Cup, Dhoni scored 77 runs in 4 innings with a best of 36 in the final vs Bangladesh.