Tag Asia cup 2012
Indians may have had an unsatisfactory tour of Australia but when it comes to asian conditions, they're still the world champions, winning the cup less than an year ago. Now, to defend the Asia cup, selectors have omitted Virender Sehwag, named Virat Kohli the new vice captain and retained Sachin Tendulkar. The four nation tournament will be played in Bangladesh in March 2012..
Schedule : Asia cup 2012.
Captain MS Dhoni has received more criticism in recent times than he's ever had in his illustrious career but he remains the best choice for the leadership of the team. Virat Kohli will be his under-study now onwards.
Sachin Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir will open for India although their fielding abilities remains a doubt. Young batsmen Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma are identified as the ones to take Indian middle order forward and Asia cup will provide them the chance. Manoj Tiwary has warmed benches for too long and he'll continue to do so unless someone gets injured.
Interesting is return of Yusuf Pathan, a hard hitting right handed batsman who also bowls useful off-spin and is a termendos fielder. Pathan has been on the sidelines since June last year but asian conditions suit his style of play and his ability to win matches from no where must have tempted selectors.
Ravindra Jadeja and Irfan Pathan are two other allrounders India will high hopes from. Both can bowl their quota of overs and make useful runs towards the end. Their presence will prolong Indian batting, allowing top order to bat freely against the new ball.
Spinners in asian conditions against asian teams is a tricky selection. All asian batsmen play slow bowlers in their sleep but since pitch offers some help, Indian selectors have gone with plenty of options. R Ashwin continues to keep Harbhajan Singh out of offspinner's slot while Rahul Sharma is the leg spinner to watch out for. Ravindra Jadeja is the left arm spinner with Yusuf Pathan sending down offies.
Praveen Kumar will lead Indians pace attack with Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav rested after long Aussie tour. R Vinay Kumar and Irfan Pathan will be first two choices to partner him while Ashok Dinda returns to the set-up after being second highest wicket taker in Ranji trophy season. Other contenders like Varun Aaron and S Sreesanth haven't fully recovered from injuries and although Munaf Patel has, he wasn't picked due to lack of match practice and fielding inabilities.
India start the tournament against Sri Lanka on 13th March, meet hosts Bangladesh on 16th March and then, sunday special, clash with arch rivals Pakistan on 18th March. The top two teams in points table will fight the final battle.