Cricket

‘Kohli, Rohit Sharma won’t stay for long’: Harbhajan makes 2 huge omissions in picking India’s Asia Cup squad

Harbhajan showed a hard-hitting reality pertaining to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the wake of the West Indies series loss.

If speculations are true, Indian cricket fans will be officially made aware of the final 15 that will represent the nation in the 2023 Asia Cup beginning end of this month on August 20. Ahead of the big announcements, experts have already dropped in their views on what the squad could possibly look like. The likes of Ravi Shastri, Sandeep Patil and MSK Prasad had picked their 15 in a discussion on Star Sports earlier this week. Joining the bandwagon on Friday, former India cricketer Harbhajan Singh named his India squad for the tournament, but also showed a hard-hitting reality pertaining to Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the wake of the West Indies series loss.

India’s forgettable white-ball tour of West Indies has left most experts concerned, given the timing of the results. It was India’s sole event before proceedings headed towards the Asia Cup, followed by the ODI World Cup at home. But while the team survived an ODI series scare against a side that failed to qualify for the 50-over event this year, they later went 2-3 down in the T20I contest.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Harbhajan admitted that he was shocked at the results in the tour which he was least worried about. He then gave a reality check to the Indian side saying that while most may argue the absence of Kohli and Rohit made the team a weaker side, the two veterans won’t be in the side forever.

“I thought India would win that series easily. But the result has left many shocked and concerned. I was taken aback as well because West Indies, a team that did not make the World Cup, beat us. This indeed is a big achievement for West Indies, but a major concern for India. Yes Kohli and Rohit weren’t there, they won’t stay for long, but this young brigade that had toured West Indies have a learn a lot from this. I previously said that India can make 2-3 teams, and they still can, but the results are yet to reflect,” he said.

Harbhajan picks his 15-man India squad for Asia Cup
In the video, the legendary off-spinner also picked the Indian team for the 2023 Asia Cup where he excluded two big-name players. He backed Suryakumar Yadav for middle-order role despite the batter averaging less than 12 in the nine innings he played in the format this year and joined the growing chorus pf Tilak Varma’s inclusion in the Asia Cup team after an impressive T20I outing in West Indies.

Harbhajan’s team comprises of three-spin bowling options in Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, a fast-bowling all-rounder in Hardik Pandya and four primary pacers.

The veteran cricketer also picked KL Rahul, who has been out of action since his hamstring injury in May during IPL 2023. “He is a proven player and if you want to see him in the World Cup squad, this is the right time to bring him back,” he said of the wicketkeeper-batter. However, he snubbed Sanju Samson and Shreyas Iyer from the side.

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