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Asia Cup 2023: Sanjay Manjrekar Selects India’s Starting Lineup 

As the Asia Cup 2023 draws closer, cricket enthusiasts are eagerly discussing potential team compositions and predictions for the tournament. With six formidable teams competing for the prestigious title, including a historic eighth Asia Cup win for India, the excitement is palpable.  

The recent announcement of India’s 17-member squad has fueled discussions among cricket pundits, former players, and fans regarding their preferred playing XIs for the tournament. Among those who shared their insights is renowned commentator and former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar.

Balanced Pace Attack and Spin Options

During a conversation with ESPNcricinfo, Manjrekar unveiled his envisioned playing XI for India in the forthcoming Asia Cup. The former Mumbai cricketer placed his trust in the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami to lead India’s pace battery. Adding a dynamic all-rounder element, Manjrekar included Hardik Pandya, who could contribute with both bat and ball.

In the spin department, Manjrekar’s selections were Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav, recognizing their strengths as key spinners.

Strategic Batting Lineup

When it came to the batting order, Manjrekar made strategic choices. Opening the innings, he placed Shubman Gill alongside the experienced Rohit Sharma. The crucial No. 3 spot was reserved for Virat Kohli, a modern cricket icon. Interestingly, Manjrekar designated KL Rahul as the wicketkeeper-batsman for his chosen XI.

Balancing the Middle Order

Manjrekar introduced a unique perspective on the middle-order composition. He emphasized the significance of having a left-hander to balance the lineup, particularly given the right-handed dominance among the chosen top-order batsmen. He suggested that either Shreyas Iyer or Tilak Varma could fulfill this role effectively.

“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,” explained 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

With Asia Cup 2023 just around the corner, Manjrekar’s insights provide a valuable perspective on India’s potential lineup. Fans eagerly await to see if his predictions align with the actual selections and performance on the field.

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