Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra has picked his probable Team India XI for their Asia Cup 2022 opener against Pakistan.

The Asia Cup is scheduled to be played in the UAE from August 27 to September 11. The selectors picked the 15-member Indian squad for the tournament on Monday, August 8.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: KL Rahul Likely To Open But There’s A Possibility Of Virat Kohli Opening

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that KL Rahul is likely to open with skipper Rohit Sharma.

He, however, added that it would not be a surprise if Virat Kohli bats at the top of the order, explaining: “It seems it has been discussed that KL Rahul is going to be the opener and Virat Kohli is going to be at No. 3. Long-term perspective – no problem at all, this is what you want. But they have experimented so much in opening that we might see some more experiments. It is possible Rahul does not open and Virat Kohli opens.”

Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP
Virat Kohli, KL Rahul | Photo Credit: AP

Aakash Chopra picked Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant to showcase their wares in the middle order.

The cricketer-turned-commentator elaborated: “Suryakumar Yadav will be in the middle order. Rishabh Pant might go above Surya, that’s a possibility because we have seen repeatedly that a left-hander is required, every team has a leg-spinner, so you need Rishabh Pant in between.”

Aakash Chopra Picks Indian XI For Asia Cup 2022 Opener Against Pakistan 1

Aakash Chopra named Hardik Pandya as the other batter in the top six.

Aakash Chopra: Dinesh Karthik Might Not Be Able To Get A Place In The XI

He added that Dinesh Karthik is unlikely to feature in the playing XI.

“That means Suryakumar at No. 5 or No. 6 because Hardik Pandya is also there, then why were you making him open for so long? Dinesh Karthik might not be able to get a place in the XI. Deepak Hooda’s selection shows that team needs a floater who can bat down the order and give you some bowling as well.”

Dinesh Karthik has consistently performed the finisher’s role for Team India since his return to the side. However, with all frontline batters being available for the tournament, it will be tough to accommodate him in the XI.

Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik (Sportzpics)

Aakash Chopra Picks Indian XI For Asia Cup 2022 Opener Against Pakistan 2

Aakash Chopra feels Team India might play Deepak Hooda as an additional batter.

He reasoned: “It is possible that when the first match happens against Pakistan, because KL Rahul is coming after playing no cricket and Virat Kohli is coming after a break, the team might feel the batting is slightly fragile and that they should keep Deepak Hooda as well.”

Aakash Chopra completed his XI by picking two spinners and as many pacers.

The reputed commentator observed: “They can go with four bowlers and you can get four overs from Hardik Pandya and Hooda. That could be the thought process, that you play Jaddu and Chahal and two fast bowlers – Arshdeep and Bhuvi because you might not want to play Avesh as of now.”

India’s campaign in this year’s tournament will kick off with a heavyweight clash against arch-rivals Pakistan on August 28. The Men in Blue would like to avenge the defeat in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 and stamp their authority in regards to the preparation of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 which will be played later this year in Australia.

Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the squad due to a back injury. KL Rahul will be the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team in the Asia Cup 2022. Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik are the two wicketkeepers on the side.

Aakash Chopra’s Indian XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh.

India’s Squad for Asia Cup 2022: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul (VC), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant(Wk), Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik (Wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan.

Backup: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Axar Patel.