India captain Rohit Sharma discusses the challenges he and his head coach, Rahul Dravid face, during squad selection.
Ahead of the Asia Cup and ICC World Cup 2023, Rohit Sharma has offered a pragmatic perspective on India's squad selection woes. The squad reveal for the Asia Cup 2023 by Rohit Sharma's Team India highlighted the prominent return of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.
Leading the announcement alongside Rohit, Indian chief selector Ajit Agarkar faced the media for the first time since assuming his role to unveil the squad for the upcoming continental championship a week ago.
Despite the impressive returns of Iyer and Rahul, the selectors opted not to include senior spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the Asia Cup lineup.
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The door is still open for the World Cup
At the press briefing, India's captain Rohit clarified that star spinners who missed out on the Asia Cup squad still have opportunities ahead. Leading the spin attack for the Men In Blue during the Asia Cup will be Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, and Axar Patel.
To facilitate the inclusion of players like Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar, or Chahal in the Asia Cup squad, Team India had to sacrifice a seam bowler.
Yuzvendra Chahal misses out on India's Asia Cup squad, with Axar Patel picked as the third spinner instead. pic.twitter.com/4mHMF84hvF— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) August 22, 2023
Rohit Sharma on India’s squad selection dilemma
With the Asia Cup 2023 opener on the horizon, Indian skipper Rohit shared his ambition of creating unforgettable moments with his team in the forthcoming two months.
Despite Pakistan's role as co-host, Rohit and his squad are slated to compete solely in Sri Lanka for the entire tournament duration.
Following their involvement in the Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka, Rohit's men will journey back home to intensify their preparations for the approaching ICC World Cup.
In a conversation with the news agency PTI, Rohit, the leader of Team India, openly discussed the challenges of player selection that the team faced leading up to the global event.
“While picking the best combination, there will be guys who will miss out for various reasons and Rahul bhai (Dravid) and I have tried our best to explain to the players why they are not in the squad.
“We have tried to communicate with the players after every selection and playing XI that has been announced. We talk to them face to face, one-on-one why they have not been picked,” the veteran opener said.
Rohit made it clear that personal inclinations play no role in the process of picking or discarding a player for the team.
“It's not like, I don't like this person, so I am dropping him. Captaincy is not based on personal likes and dislikes. If anyone misses out, there is a reason for it. If you are the unlucky one, we can do nothing.”
Rohit Sharma sympathizes with those who were left out of the squad
Showing compassion for those who didn't make the cut for the Indian team, Rohit harked back to his own World Cup setback. The batter was not listed in India's squad for the 2011 edition of the prominent tournament. India went on to win the title that year under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership.
“Sometimes, I try and put myself in their shoes. When I wasn't picked in 2011, it was such a heart-breaking moment for me and I felt what's left after being dropped from a World Cup squad?”