Agarkar said of Tilak’s selection, “In the West Indies, we saw some real potential, not just in terms of performance but temperament.” “And that gives us a chance to take him with the team, get him some more experience; a left-handed player again looks very promising. So luckily we can take 17 here, it could be 15 at the World Cup So when the time comes we will take that decision, but for now at least it gives the coach and the captain a chance to include him in the team.”
“You don’t want to be handicapped or stuck with one player batting at one position. Having said that, you want to get the best out of players at certain positions. All seven-eight (positions) are somebody’s We are open to everyone, this is the message we have been sending all these years.”
Rohit Sharma on flexibility in batting order
“We have selected these 18 people. It (for the World Cup squad) will be in and around these people,” Agarkar said. “Some important people are coming back from injury, hopefully everything goes well with them. They have a few games now in the Asia Cup. There is a short camp in Bengaluru) after which we do some training before announcing the World Cup squad. Will play games, but it’s very clear that it’s going to be around these guys.”
Rahul and Shreyas had spent several weeks undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru and took part in match-simulation practice in the days before their selection. Rahul has not played any competitive cricket since getting injured during IPL 2023, while Shreyas has been out of action since Australia’s India tour in March. Agarkar said that Shreyas is completely fit, but there is still a question mark on Rahul.
“Both have been recovering from serious injuries for a long time. Shreyas has been declared fully fit. Rahul, it is not his original injury but a minor injury due to which Sanju is travelling,” Agarkar said. ” “We will get a report from the physio at some stage, but we all hope he will be fit. If not in the beginning, then by the second or third game, but he is on track. Shreyas has been fit, which is good news. For us.”
Apart from the inclusion of Tilak, there were no surprises in the batting unit and Rohit said that the team management wanted to be flexible in the batting order.
“One thing I want in this team is to make sure that everyone can bat anywhere,” Rohit said. “You need flexibility, people who can move into any position. No one should say, ‘I’m good at this position or I’m good at that position.’ You want people to be able to bat anywhere, that’s the message that’s been conveyed to everybody. Not now, but over the last three-four years. I know it’s hard for people on the outside to understand that. The person bats at number six, why is he batting at number four, but the message has been given. You don’t know. You want to be handicapped or stuck with one player batting in one position. Having said that, you want to get the best out of players in certain positions. All seven-eight (positions) for anybody. We are open, this is the message we have sent now that I have been out for so many years.”
The Asia Cup will begin on August 30 with Multan hosting Pakistan and Nepal. India’s first Group A game is against Pakistan on September 2 in Pallekele, after which they will play Nepal on September 4 in Pallekele. Group B comprises Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka and the top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Four stage. The first and second placed teams in the Super Force will contest the final in Colombo on 17 September.
Indian team for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper) , Shardul Thakur, Akshar Patel, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Verma, Prasidh Krishna
Reserve player: Sanju Samson