India won’t chop and change at Asia Cup

Asia Cup 2018

India skipper Rohit Sharma indicated that team continuity would still be maintained throughout the 2018 Asia Cup despite top players being rested.

Virat Kohli was rested for the series while his vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was also left out though it is unclear if he was in the ODI plans.

Rohit said that places in the team were up for grabs but said that players who performed would likely be retained in the XI throughout the tournament.

“It is not settled, we all know about it, because there’s been a lot of guys who have played at that position,” he said.

“Going forward we want everything to be settled, but it gives an opportunity to the guys to come and play the cricket they like to play and seal the spot. Nos. 3 [for this tournament], 4, 6 are all up for grabs.

“All these guys are eyeing that. Obviously, we want to give as many chances as possible to the guys to make sure the No.4 and 6 spot is sealed. As a team we’re very much looking forward to that. I am sure all those guys who are eyeing that spot are hungry and want to grab that position.”

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Manish Pandey, one of the men vying for middle-order spots.

Rohit’s wants his players to be settled in a tournament that has such a congested schedule given the effect getting the axe will have on morale in the group.

“I wouldn’t say it is a concern, but if you look at the future, as a captain or player, you want your team to be settled and even the guys who are eyeing that spot want to be settled,” he said. “Nobody likes to be dropped and brought back into the squad. We want everyone to be feeling safe and settled, so that they can play freely. Right now looking at all the guys who are eyeing that spot, mentally they look fresh and are raring to go. I guess they’re just a performance away from making their claim for that particular spot.”

Rohit hinted that Khaleel Ahmed may be able to disrupt the rock-solid quartet of Bhuvi Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal who have established themselves as ODI regulars.

“I am quite excited about Khaleel,” he said. “Of course he’s a great variation to squad. Also, he generates quite a bit of pace. He’s young, quite talented, and can swing the ball as well at the same time. I am looking forward to him playing and doing well for the country. From whatever I’ve seen of him, he can get batsmen into trouble. I can surely say that. He’s got a great skillset, it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it. Of course, he has not played a game so he’ll be quite nervous but again he’s got all the tools that are required to play at the highest level.”

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