India’s 5 wicket loss to arch-rivals Pakistan in their Super Four clash has put Rohit Sharma’s men in jeopardy of qualifying for the Asia Cup 2022 finals. The Men in Blue will have to win all of their games to make it in the finals of the 6-nation tournament.
However, the most successful team in the Asia Cup won’t have it easy as they take on Sri Lanka in their upcoming outing. With the match set to be a do-or-die clash, we look at a few changes India team head coach Rahul Dravid can make in the playing XI.
The return of Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik was dropped from the Indian playing XI for the second clash against Pakistan with Rahul Dravid picking Rishabh Pant over the veteran wicketkeeper. The 24-year-old failed to impress despite getting such a massive opportunity, as he ended up scoring just 14 runs off 12 balls.
The young southpaw has a mediocre strike rate in the shortest format of the game and has failed to get going so far. Given his struggles in T20Is, Karthik could walk in and replace him in the playing XI against Dasun Shanka & Co. on 6th September, Tuesday.
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Karthik has excelled in his designated role of playing as a finisher for the Indian team and could be roped in against Sri Lanka. The 37-year-old boosts a solid strike rate and has played handy knocks at the ending stages of an innings. Rahul Dravid won’t have to think twice over having the veteran keeper in the team for the remaining Asia Cup games.
Game time for Ravichandran Ashwin
The Indian team’s think tank decided to play Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi against Pakistan. However, playing both the leg-spinners together against Sri Lanka might not work out for the Men in Blue. The inclusion of an off spinner like Ravichandran Ashwin can be a useful tactical change against Dasun Shanka & Co.
Ashwin can be a valuable asset against the Sri Lankan left-handers. The veteran off-spinner is a better option to play and could replace either of Chahal or Bishnoi. His ability with the bat can also be seen an advantage to the Indian team lineup.
Axar Patel’s inclusion in the XI
Deepak Hooda did not have a great outing against Pakistan with the 27-year-old scoring just 16 runs off 14 balls. It is also worth noting that Rohit Sharma did not use the all-rounder during India’s bowling. Rahul Dravid would look to rope in Axar Patel over Hooda at the No.7 slot with the Gujarat based all-rounder a better fit in the team.
He can bat in the lower-middle order and while playing as a floater with the 28-year-old being a left-hander adding flexibility to the Indian batting lineup. Called up as a replacement for Ravindra Jadeja, Patel is a proven performer with the ball and could see Rahul Dravid hand him a Asia Cup 2022 debut against Sri Lanka on Tuesday.
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Smit is a sports writer at Gutshot Magazine. After completing his Bachelor’s in Mass Media, and a Master’s degree in Sports Management, this sports fanatic uses articles as a tool to express his opinions. Bring up cricket or football and you will find this usually quiet guy speak for hours! He also co-heads the official supporters club of Chelsea FC in Mumbai, wherein he hosts screenings, football meets and other such events.
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