The fate of the Asia Cup remains undecided as of now. While the tournament was originally scheduled to be played last year, it was pushed back owing to the Coronavirus pandemic. Although the official schedule of the tournament rescheduled to happen this year has not yet been released, it is expected to commence in late June in Sri Lanka.
However, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani had recently claimed that Asia Cup 2021 might get postponed to 2023 if India make it to the finals of the ICC World Test Championship. And although India have indeed made it to the finals of the marquee event, the chances of the Asia Cup get further postponed seem unlikely. As things stand now, India and New Zealand are scheduled to play the final from June 18 to 22 with the Asia Cup slated to begin in the last week of the same month.
BCCI likely to send second-string India team for the tournament
A report carried by the Times of India (TOI) now claims that the BCCI is mulling to send a second-string Indian side to Sri Lanka for Asia Cup. Such a decision is being considered, keeping in mind the busy schedule of the team. Not only are India supposed to play five-Test matches in England following the World Test Championship final also in the United Kingdom, they also host the T20 World Cup later in the year.
“There’s no other choice. We can’t risk the preparation for the series in England. And cricketers can’t twice undergo quarantine. If the Asia Cup happens, India will have no option but to send a second-string squad,” unnamed top sources were quoted by TOI.
A second-string side suggests the team will be without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah among others. The Men in Blue have won the last two editions of tournament and will be aiming for a hat-trick this year. India remain the most successful team in the history of the competition, having seven titles to their credit already.
Probable India Squad for Asia Cup 2021
KL Rahul (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur