The Indian cricket team rounded off their 11-weeks sojourn of the English isles with a 118-run loss at the Oval, relinquishing the series 1-4. However, in four days time, the team would be in the United Arab Emirates battling it out in Asia Cup. Ten days ago, India’s squad for the 2018 Asia Cup was announced by the selectors with one very noticeable exclusion.
Following a gruelling summer in England and India’s cramped up schedule which includes the all-important tour to Australia and New Zealand during the winter, the selection committee headed by former Indian wicket-keeper MSK Prasad decided to rest India’s captain Virat Kohli.
Speaking to the Hindustan Times earlier today, MSK Prasad explained the committee’s thought process behind resting Kohli for the marquee event.
“Considering the workload, we have given him (Kohli) rest. He has been playing continuously for quite some time. He’s on the road from the IPL. So that is why looking at the workload we have given him rest,” said, MSK Prasad
“I will like to tell that I have been there from the third test match (in England). We sat for a discussion regarding the workload management, so we need to preserve some of the precious players, who are playing in all three formats. Looking at that workload issue we have started with Virat and he will be rested for the Asia Cup,” he added
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Kohli has had a gruelling summer in England where he emerged as the leading run-getter from both sides- 593 runs in 10 innings. He has been suffering from back issues from the past eight months and given India’s impending tour to Australia, it is prudent for India to rest their ace batsman, and use the Asia Cup as an opportunity to build their middle-order by giving ample game time to the likes of Manish Pandey and Ambati Rayudu.
Five-time Asia Cup champions, India kickstart their 2018 campaign against Hong Kong on September 18 at Dubai before squaring off against their arch-rivals Pakistan on the 19th.
India Squad for Asia Cup:-
Rohit Sharma (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya