On Monday (August 21) in New Delhi, Ajit Agarkar, the chief selector of BCCI, unveiled India’s 17-player lineup for the Asia Cup 2023. Following the announcement, he and captain Rohit Sharma held a press conference. Amidst the discussion, Rohit was questioned about the absence of occasional bowling choices in the Indian team. Responding in a lighthearted manner, the 36-year-old provided a humorous retort. This led to an amusing reaction from Agarkar.
On Monday (August 21), the BCCI announced India’s 17-player lineup for the upcoming Asia Cup edition. They indicated that the 15 players chosen for the ODI World Cup would be selected from this group of 17 for the primary continental tournament. The selection panel, led by Ajit Agarkar, convened in New Delhi on the same day, alongside captain Rohit Sharma and BCCI secretary Jay Shah. Notably, Sanju Samson was included as a reserve wicketkeeper-batsman for KL Rahul.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 21, 2023
Agarkar mentioned that KL Rahul is dealing with a minor injury, which might lead to his potential absence in the team’s opening match against Pakistan on September 2nd. Following the squad announcement, Agarkar and Rohit engaged with the press in Delhi. During the media session, Rohit Sharma, the Indian captain, was questioned about the limited presence of part-time bowlers in the team.
“We are giving a chance to whoever is performing well” – Rohit Sharma
In a memorable response, the 36-year-old Rohit Sharma humorously mentioned that crafting a bowler overnight isn’t possible and the team must work with the existing choices. He playfully suggested that he and Virat Kohli might step in to bowl if the situation demands.
“That was the team of 2011. They had individuals who could bowl and bat. You have to make do with what you have. We are giving a chance to whoever is performing well. You cannot create someone who can bowl overnight. These guys are batters who can score runs. That is why they are part of the team. But hopefully Sharma and Kohli can bowl some overs in the World Cup, When inquired about the lack of part-time bowling choices, Rohit Sharma remarked.
After Rohit’s humorous reply evoked laughter all around, Agarkar, positioned to Rohit’s left, responded in an amusing manner, stating, “We’ve managed to persuade them.” Included in the 17-player lineup chosen for the Asia Cup 2023 are individuals such as Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul, who had significant doubts surrounding their fitness for the six-team competition due to injuries.
Both Iyer and KL had been sidelined for a considerable period, with reports suggesting that their fitness might not be at its peak, potentially leading to their exclusion. However, Agarkar confirmed that Shreyas Iyer is completely fit and even took part in three 50-over matches at the NCA.
Asia Cup 2023 India squad:
Captain: Rohit Sharma
Players: Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul (WK), Vice-Captain: Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna,
Backup Wicketkeeper: Sanju Samson