The announcement of India's squad for the Asia Cup on Monday was on expected lines, with KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer's return from injuries emerging as big positives and one that promises to solve the team's middle-order woes. Shreyas at 4 and Rahul at 5 seem to be the answer to all problems, followed by Hardik Pandya at 6 and Ravindra Jadeja at 7. Add to that Jasprit Bumrah's comeback into the squad after close to a year, and India's Asia Cup Playing XI almost picks for itself.
The only concern for India heading into the Asia Cup however, is lack of match practice for both Rahul and Iyer, a fact echoed by former all-rounder Kapil Dev. Both individuals participated in a practice match at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), yet no level of simulation can truly replicate the dynamics of an actual ODI, let alone when the bowling attack in front of you features Shaheen Afridi, Haris Rauf and Naseem Shah. Although BCCI chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar informed that Rahul might miss the first two games of the Asia Cup owing to a niggle he picked up after recovering from his hamstring injury, KL will automatically get back in eventually. Having said that, if Kapil is to be believed, including both fit-again batters in India's Playing XI could be a blessing in disguise