Asia Cup 2018: Can India fly under Rohit Sharma's leadership?

Asia Cup 2018: Can India fly under Rohit Sharma's leadership?

14 Sep 2018: Asia Cup 2018: Can India fly under Rohit Sharma's leadership?

India will be led by Rohit Sharma in the upcoming Asia Cup 2018.

They open their campaign against minnows Hong Kong on September 18.

Drawn in Pool A, India will also lock horns with arch-rivals Pakistan on September 19.

We expect drastically different XI for both the games.

Notably, Sharma had earlier led India to Nidahas Trophy victory.

Here we decode India's squad.

Fact: Here is India's 16-man squad

Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed.

Top 4: India's top 4 in batting bear solidity

Rohit and his partner Shikhar Dhawan have been in prime form in ODIs and can hold the fort to lay a strong foundation.

Their free-flowing nature could be ominous for teams.

KL Rahul is likely to come in at number three and continue the momentum.

We might see Dhoni getting promoted to number 4. This would mean youngsters will need to finish the games.

Batsmen: A look at India's other batting options

Comeback men Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav could feature in the crucial lower middle-order.

Rayudu had a brilliant IPL 2018 and Jadhav will be handy with his part-time spin.

It is a massive opportunity for them.

The presence of DK and Manish Pandey add more solidity in the line-up.

One can expect them to play some role in the packed tourney.

Fact: Pandya leads all-round show

Hardik Pandya is the star all-rounder of the side and is a prime candidate for the number 7 slot. He is also likely to be used as the third pacer of the side. Spin all-rounder Axar Patel will, most likely, warm the bench.

Spin: Wrist spinners Kuldeep and Chahal are a treat

A lot will depend on how Indian spinners perform in the Asia Cup.

The spin twin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have done wonders for the team in ODIs.

Apart from the ODIs against England, these two have been creating havoc both at home and overseas.

India have won mainly because of these two star wrist spinners.

Pacers: Here is a look at the pace attack

Jasprit Bumrah is the leader of this pace attack and he comes into the tournament after having excelled in the Tests against England.

It will be interesting to see how Bhuvneshwar Kumar fares.

The right-arm pacer has just returned to the side after nursing an injury.

The bench is comprised by little known debutant left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed and Shardul Thakur.

Fact: Our take: Can India do well?

Virat Kohli-less India have a rich look and can deliver. Some surprise exclusions have led the way for youngsters and they need to grab the rare chance. For India, the major threat will be arch-rivals Pakistan and they need to crack the Amir-Junaid code.

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