In anticipation of the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, former leg-spinner Danish Kaneria has shared his insights, suggesting that Pakistan may hold an advantage over India due to what he perceives as an unsettled composition of the Rohit Sharma-led side. The Asia Cup this year could potentially witness three intense clashes between the arch-rivals, India and Pakistan. The cricketing showdown between these two titans is scheduled as a Group A match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on September 2.
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Kaneria has shed light on certain vulnerabilities within the Indian squad, particularly in their bowling department, where he believes there is a lack of firmness. He also expressed reservations about the final selection of pace bowlers for the Indian team under Rohit Sharma’s leadership. In terms of spin bowling, Kaneria proposed exploring alternative options beyond Yuzvendra Chahal, whose performance has displayed inconsistency. Kaneria’s recommendation is for Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja to assume the pivotal spinners’ roles. He further advised considering Ravi Bishnoi as a standby spinner.
During a live session on his official YouTube channel, Kaneria voiced his perspective, saying, “Pakistan appears to have the upper hand at the moment due to India’s current state of uncertainty. The question of which fast bowlers will secure a spot remains unanswered. As for their spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal’s form has been erratic. To me, the ideal trio of spinners should comprise Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, and Ravindra Jadeja. In the role of a reserve spinner, Ravi Bishnoi should be the choice.”
Turning attention to India’s middle-order batting, Kaneria brought to light the recent batting practice sessions undertaken by KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. The two batsmen are on the mend from injuries and have been honing their skills at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. Kaneria emphasized the importance of match practice before a return to the international stage for both Rahul and Iyer.
“While KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have been diligently training at the NCA and are likely contenders for India’s squad in the imminent major tournaments, it’s essential to note that inclusion in the team shouldn’t solely be based on practice performances,” Kaneria elaborated. He stressed that a consistent display of good form in actual matches should be the criterion for their reinstatement in the national team.