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Asia Cup 2023: Harbhajan Singh Excludes Kohli and Rohit from His Predictions for Squad, Citing Short Tenures

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Harbhajan Singh sheds light on Kohli and Sharma’s absence from India’s 2023 Asia Cup squad.

As cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the final 15-player lineup for India’s participation in the upcoming 2023 Asia Cup, former Indian cricketer Harbhajan Singh has provided his insights, shedding light on the absence of star players Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma due to their eventual departures from the squad.

The aftermath of India’s challenging white-ball tour against West Indies, which culminated in a 2-3 T20I series loss, has raised concerns among experts and fans alike. Given the timing of these results, with the Asia Cup looming on August 20 followed by the ODI World Cup on home soil, discussions about the squad have already begun in earnest. Esteemed figures such as Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil, and MSK Prasad had earlier voiced their selections on Star Sports. Joining the dialogue, Harbhajan Singh took to his YouTube channel to share his thoughts on India’s upcoming campaign and address a compelling reality about Kohli and Sharma’s roles in the squad’s future.

Expressing his initial surprise at the West Indies tour results, Harbhajan noted that he had anticipated an easier victory for India. However, the loss to a West Indies side that had not qualified for the World Cup sparked concern. Harbhajan pointed out that while the absence of Kohli and Sharma may have contributed to India’s temporary setback, these stalwart players will eventually move on from the team. Harbhajan acknowledged the significance of this transition and highlighted the learning opportunity for the young players who participated in the West Indies tour.

Harbhajan affirmed, “Yes Kohli and Rohit weren’t there, they won’t stay for long, but this young brigade that had toured West Indies have a lot to learn from this. I previously said that India can make 2-3 teams, and they still can, but the results are yet to reflect.”

Beyond his analysis, Harbhajan also revealed his preferred 15-man squad for the upcoming Asia Cup. The lineup features several intriguing choices, including Suryakumar Yadav for a middle-order role despite his recent struggles and Tilak Varma, whose impressive T20I performance in West Indies has garnered attention. The team includes a spin trio consisting of Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal, along with the fast-bowling prowess of Hardik Pandya and four primary pacers.

In a significant move, Harbhajan advocated for the inclusion of KL Rahul, who has been sidelined since his hamstring injury during IPL 2023. Harbhajan emphasized Rahul’s proven capabilities and suggested that this moment presents an opportune time to reintegrate him into the squad, particularly with the World Cup on the horizon. However, he omitted players like Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer from his selection.

Harbhajan Singh’s 15-man India Squad for Asia Cup:

  • Captain: Rohit Sharma
  • Players: Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, KL Rahul
  • Additional: Axar Patel (16th man)

Harbhajan Singh’s thoughtful insights provide a glimpse into the strategic considerations that shape India’s squad choices as they prepare to compete on the international stage once again. As cricket fans anticipate the Asia Cup’s commencement, these expert opinions contribute to the excitement and discourse surrounding the forthcoming tournament.

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