Sanjay Manjrekar picks India’s playing XI for the Asia Cup 2023

Sanjay Manjrekar picks India’s playing XI for the Asia Cup 2023

Sanjay Manjrekar picks India's playing XI for the Asia Cup 2023

As the cricketing world eagerly awaits the commencement of the Asia Cup 2023, speculations and predictions about team compositions are reaching a fever pitch. The tournament is set to kick off in just a few days and promises high-octane clashes between six formidable teams, all vying for the prestigious title. Among all the participating nations, India is the most successful team in the Asia Cup history and is poised to pursue an unprecedented eighth title.

The Indian cricket fraternity was recently abuzz with the announcement of the 17-member squad that will represent the nation in the Asia Cup 2023. With the anticipation building up, cricket pundits, former players, and fans have started formulating their ideal playing XIs for India. The list also included one of the prominent voices in cricket commentary and former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.

Jasprit Bumrah to lead the pace battery in Sanjay Manjrekar’s India XI

Renowned for his cricketing acumen and insightful analysis, Manjrekar shared his preferred playing XI for India in the forthcoming Asia Cup during an interaction with ESPNcricinfo. The Mumbai cricketer opted for Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami in his pace battery. Meanwhile, the all-rounder role was assigned to the dynamic Hardik Pandya, who can contribute both with the bat and the ball in Manjrekar’s team.

Sanjay Majrekar picks Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav as his two main spinners

Manjrekar favoured the seasoned Ravindra Jadeja and the talented Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department, while the batting lineup envisioned by Manjrekar opens with Shubman Gill partnering with the experienced Rohit Sharma. The crucial No. 3 position is occupied by none other than the modern cricket icon, Virat Kohli. In a notable twist, Manjrekar proposes KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper-batter.

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Sankay Manjrekar throws light on why Tilak Varma will have an edge over Shreyas Iyer in the middle order

One of the intriguing aspects of Manjrekar’s selection lay in his thoughts on the middle-order. With a majority of the chosen top-order batters being right-handers, Manjrekar believes that introducing a left-hander is imperative to bring balance to the lineup. In this context, he suggested that either Shreyas Iyer or Tilak Varma could fill this role.

“My three seamers would be Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami. Hardik Pandya would be my fourth seamer. My spinners would be Jadeja and Kuldeep. My opener would be Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. No. 3 batter would be Virat Kohli. KL Rahul would play because he is the keeper,” said Manjrekar.

“Either Shreyas Iyer or Tilak Varma could play [in the middle-order]. I am saying this because in India’s first-choice side XI, the first seven (six) batters, including Hardik Pandya, are all right-handers. Somewhere, India will have to fit in a left-hander in Tilak Varma. This is a problem India has,” he added.

Sanjay Manjrekar’s India playing XI for the Asia Cup 2023

Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer/ Tilak Varma, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

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