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Asia Cup 2022: Confused experimentation leave India with questions before ICC T20 World Cup

The men in blue were all expected to easily win the Asia Cup 2022 trophy after months of experimenting with the best lineup for the team, but the reality in Dubai was completely different. this left India with more questions before ICC World Cup.

India was the first team to be eliminated from the Super Four stage, and fans of Indian cricket weren’t sure whether this was due to the lack of competitive attitude of the players or the team’s confused experimentation.

India started the tournament on a successful note with a resounding win over arch-rivals Pakistan by 5 wickets and 2 deliveries to spare thanks to Hardik Pandya’s brilliance with the bat and the ball.

India went on to register another win in their game against Hong Kong by a good margin of 40 runs.

Even though Team India had been given the chance to compete in the Asia Cup Super 4, things immediately turned worse for the team in blue.

India faced a defeat in their first Super 4 game itself which too against the arch-rival Pakistan.

In Pakistan’s victory over India in the first Super 4 game, no doubt the game was close and it was Arshdeep Singh, who mishandled a catch at a crucial point, and then Bhuvneshwar leaked 19 off the penultimate over completely handed the game to the opponent. With just 7 required off the final over Pakistan won it with 1 ball to spare.

The Indian cricket team’s situation deteriorated further when they lost their subsequent match against Sri Lanka, which they managed to win by six wickets, eliminating India from the Asia Cup.

However, India’s dead-rubber match against Afghanistan was a game to remember as Kohli finally reached his century after a protracted wait and seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar found some prodigal swing to pick up 5 wickets in his 4 overs.

The end of the Asia Cup campaign for the men in blue leave India with some questions before T20 ICC World Cup

Who would be their suitable batters for fifth, sixth and seventh positions, Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik or Deepak Hooda?

The middle order exudes an air of uncertainty and unease. It is still unclear whether to choose Dinesh Karthik or Deepak Hooda, where Rishabh Pant should bat, at five or six, or whether he should even be in the starting eleven after all the complicated and protracted people switching. Or who has greater firepower between Karthik and Pant.

What was Deepak Hooda doing there?

India’s team composition has taken a sudden knock as a result of Ravindra Jadeja’s unfortunate injury. Although Axar Patel was selected for the squad, but the Men in Blue opted to choose Deepak Hooda to boost their batting line up.

As an all-rounder, Hooda was anticipating receiving the ball for one or two overs, but in the two matches he has played against Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the off-spinner hasn’t bowled a single over

Who would be their specialist spin and death bowlers, Ashwin or Chahal or Bishnoi? Bhuvneshwar or Arshdeep?

After giving almost every chance to Chahal and Bishnoi, the veteran Ravi Ashwin was also picked in the Asia Cup squad.

Chahal played 4 games in tournament and took just 4 wickets, three came at crucial times against the Sri Lanka clash. Ravi Ashwin was handy with the bat in same game and added a valuable 15 runs to help India set a target of 174, but he managed to pick only 2 wickets.

Ashwin played the last two games of India’s campaign in place of Ravi Bishnoi, who played his first game of the tournament against Pakistan in the Super 4 game and removed the then no.1 T-20 batter Babar Azam in first powerplay to put India on driver’s seat. But he then left out for the next two games.

Things didn’t work out especially in the death over as team was clueless who their relaible death bowlers are—Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan or Arshdeep Singh.

Where are the bowlers?

Team India reached the Asia Cup venue with just 3 fast bowlers in their line-up, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar was the in charge of them all.

With the new ball, Bhuvneshwar has been as deadly as ever, but when he had a terrible day against Sri Lanka, nobody was there to make up for him or step up and grasp the moment.  His 19th over cost him against Sri Lanka and Pakistan alike. He leaked 14 against the latter and 19 against the former.

Arshdeep Singh, took both games close when bowling the 20th overs, but that wasn’t enough to hand Inida victory in both the games.

Due to Avesh Khan’s illness, India, who had only selected three specialist pacers in the squad, down to just two. While pacer Deepak Chahar who was selected as a standby member of the team cannot be included until Khan was declared out of the tournament.

However, the return of Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel, would ease some of them concerns, but not all. Just as Bumrah will find it tough to deliver the incision at the top and rattle at the death, Patel alone is unable to take wickets at the end.

Vineet Vashisht
Vineet Vashisht
Experienced News-writer and presenter with a demonstrated history of working in the sports industry.

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