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Asia Cup 2023: Indian Selection Panel Considering 17-Member Squad, Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma to be part of meeting

The Indian selection panel is considering a 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. In a significant move, Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma are set to be part of the selection meeting. Get the latest updates and information about the Asia Cup.

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By Crickified
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PTI11

India Team Head Coach Rahul Dravid and Indian Skipper Rohit Sharma

Cricket fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the upcoming Asia Cup tournament, set to commence on October 5. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has taken an unprecedented step by inviting head coach Rahul Dravid to participate in the selection meeting. This move deviates from the conventional practice in India, where neither the coach nor the captain has the authority to cast votes in the selection process. In this article, we will delve into the selection process for the Asia Cup squad and highlight the key players who will play a crucial role in India's campaign.

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The Selection Panel and Process
Led by Ajit Agarkar, the Indian selection panel is reportedly leaning towards choosing a 17-member squad for the Asia Cup as part of a comprehensive assessment of all potential options ahead of the ODI World Cup. The status of whether skipper Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will be physically present or join via video conference remains unconfirmed.

Assessing Fitness Concerns
One of the primary considerations for the selection panel is the fitness of key players, particularly KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. Both players have been dealing with injuries, with Rahul nursing a thigh injury and Iyer recovering from a lower back issue. The BCCI and selectors could opt for a safer approach, using the Asia Cup matches in Sri Lanka as an opportunity to assess all available players.

Recent reports indicate that Rahul is nearing full fitness, while Iyer showcased his abilities by batting for 38 overs and fielding for 50 overs in a warm-up game at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). The final decision on their inclusion in the squad will depend on their fitness levels closer to the tournament.

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Provisional Squad and Possible Changes
The BCCI source revealed that there is a possibility of picking a provisional 15-member squad for the World Cup, which needs to be submitted by September 5. However, changes can be made until the final squad deadline on September 27. This flexibility allows the selectors to make adjustments based on the players' performances and fitness levels leading up to the tournament.

Uncertainty Surrounding Squad Selection
With the selection process underway, there are some uncertainties regarding the final squad composition. The meeting will discuss the inclusion of left-handed batting talent Tilak Varma, but it remains uncertain if he could secure a spot in the final 15 if both Iyer and Rahul are declared fit. Similarly, the selection of Sanju Samson hinges on the availability of Suryakumar Yadav, known for his finishing abilities. If both senior players (Rahul and Iyer) are fit and available for selection, Samson might miss out on the final 15.

Speculation around Ravichandran Ashwin's Inclusion
There has been speculation around the inclusion of Ravichandran Ashwin in the World Cup squad. Many believe that his skill set would be valuable in Indian conditions. However, a former national selector has questioned why Ashwin wasn't given the opportunity to stay back in the West Indies after the Test series and evaluate his white-ball form in the ensuing ODIs. The former selector queries the decision to directly include Ashwin in the Asia Cup squad without assessing his performance in limited-overs cricket.

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Potential Asia Cup Squad
While the final squad is yet to be announced, we can speculate on the potential 17-member squad for the Asia Cup based on recent developments. The squad could include players like Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (subject to fitness), Shreyas Iyer (subject to fitness), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohmmed Siraj, Kuldeep YadavIshan Kishan (second wicket-keeper), Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma and Yuzvendra Chahal/ R Ashwin.

It's important to note that this is a speculative squad based on current information and subject to changes closer to the tournament.

Conclusion
The selection process for the Asia Cup squad is underway, and the Indian selection panel, led by Ajit Agarkar, is leaving no stone unturned in assessing all potential options. The fitness concerns surrounding key players like KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer add an element of uncertainty to the squad composition. The inclusion of promising talents like Tilak Varma and the speculation around Ravichandran Ashwin's selection further contribute to the intrigue. Cricket fans eagerly await the announcement of the final squad and hope that the selected players will deliver a memorable performance in the Asia Cup.

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