‘Kohli has batted at 3….openers can’t bat down, woh pagalpanti nahi karte hum’: Rohit Sharma on India’s Asia Cup squad
India named their 17-man lineup for the Asia Cup, which begins later this month, with less than two months until the 2023 ODI World Cup.
Despite the return of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, there are still concerns about the team's middle order, which now includes Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya, and Suryakumar Yadav.
In his post-squad announcement statement, skipper Rohit Sharma stated that players should be prepared for a flexible-looking middle order. What exactly did he mean by "flexibility"?
"I'm going to make you understand!" Although flexibility is essential, this does not imply that the opener should be sent at position 7. Alternatively, Hardik Pandya might be used as the opener. Kohli has batted at No. 3 for the last four and a half years. The newcomers at positions four and five must be adaptable.
Even in my profession, we've all done it. That is the kind of adaptability I'm referring to. "Woh pagalpanti nahi karte (We don't do that nonsense)," Sharma remarked at a press conference on Monday.
When asked to comment on the team's number four batting quandary, Rohit smiled and said, "We have guys who can bat at No.4" It's not just one position… There have been obstacles, guys who have been put under strain, and we have had to test others due to injury. We tried Axar at No.4 because he is a left-hander, and he batted freely."
In an update on Rahul and Iyer, who have been recovering from thigh and back injuries, respectively, chief selector Ajit Agarkar stated that while the latter has been pronounced match fit, Sanju Samson has been placed as a standby due to Rahul suffering a niggle.
"We're hoping that KL (Rahul) will be fine by the time we play our first match," he'd say.
On all-rounders and part timers
India has three designated all-rounders in their squad: recently named vice captain Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel. Shardul Thakur, who can also swing a bat, was also named to the 17-man squad.
"Aap k pass jo hain, usi sey kaam chalana padega!" Sharma said of his all-rounders in his squad. (We can only accomplish the job with the people who are available.)"
He alluded to the 2011 team, which had the benefit of a large number of all-rounders. The gem in his response came when he referred to himself in the third person.
"We can't make batters who can bowl all night." "I hope Sharma and Kohli roll their arms," he'd say. "I have convinced both of them to chip in," Agarkar remarked.
'Kohli has batted at three, new people at four and five need to be flexible…not openers batting down, woh pagalpanti nahi karte hum,' Rohit Sharma said of India's Asia Cup lineup.
'I attempted to repeat what I accomplished in the IPL,' Rinku Singh explains.
Furthermore, when asked about India's advantage in the 2018 World Cup, he stated, "I don't believe in underdogs and favourites labels." To win, you must play well.
All of the teams will be here to compete and win. Playing at home only provides you a slight advantage, but so many overseas cricketers play in India these days."