Team India gifted their fans a moment to rejoice after they registered a brilliant win over Sri Lanka to clinch their eighth Asia Cup title on Sunday. The Rohit Sharma-led side looked in great touch in the entire tournament as they won every game, except for one against Bangladesh. In the final match, pacer Mohammed Siraj stole the show with his impressive six-wicket haul and also bagged the Player of the Match award. Apart from him, it was spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who was declared as the Player of the Series for his power-packed performance.
Kuldeep registered a five-wicket haul against the arch-rivals Pakistan, followed by a four-wicket against Sri Lanka. As Team India is now gearing up for the upcoming ODIs against Australia, ahead of the World Cup 2023, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar called Kuldeep India’s “trump card”.
“I have spent time with him in the IPL. He’s a guy with special skillset. Every guy needs to be shown faith and the Indian team management has done that and the results are there. He’s a trump card (for us). Most teams are finding him a challenge. All of us are excited for what lies ahead,” said Agarkar during a press conference on Monday.
Talking about the ODIs against Australia, the wrist-spinner has been rested for the first two, which will begin from September 22. He will be joining the team in third and final ODI on September 27.
Apart from Kuldeep, skipper Rohit Sharma and senior batter Virat Kohli are also rested for the first two matches. Seasoned spinner R Ashwin made a comeback to the ODI team with the series and could be drafted into the Indian team for the World Cup if Axar Patel doesn’t get fit before the September 28 deadline set by the ICC.
Off-spinner Washington Sundar has also been included in the squad for all three games and is another back up option for the World Cup.
Squad for the first two ODIs:KL Rahul (captain), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna.
Squad for third ODI: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya, (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohammed Siraj.
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