India Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer & Jasprit Bumrah make a comeback

India announced a 17-member full-strength squad for the 2023 Asia Cup. Sanju Samson has been added as the reserve. Team India is the most successful team in the history of Asia Cups winning the trophy 7 times.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip Mohanty

Last Updated: 2023-08-23

The BCCI senior selection committee led by Ajit Agarkar announced a 17-member Indian squad for the upcoming 2023 Asia Cup to be played in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The men in blue will play all their games in Sri Lanka kicking off their campaign against Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2.

The selectors have made plenty of changes in the squad from their previous tour of the West Indies. Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Prasidh Krishna all have made comebacks in the team with Tilak Varma getting his first taste of ODI cricket after a good show in the shortest format.
India Squad 2023 Asia Cup.png

Rohit, Gill and Kohli are the backbone of India’s batting order

The usual suspects, skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are the preferred openers with Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul as other options for the slot. Rahul has a niggle and is expected to be fit by the 2nd or 3rd game of the tournament. Kishan adds the dimension of having a left-hand batter in the order and the backup opening option. The openers have done well recently scoring 3037 runs since January 2022, the highest any team’s opening order has scored.Batting average and strike rate by openers.png

While Rohit has a proven record with 9837 runs in the format, Gill has had a tremendous year as no batter in the world has scored more runs than his 1388 since the beginning of 2022. Former skipper Virat Kohli will occupy the number 3 slot eyeing 13000 runs in ODIs as the master is just 102 runs away from the landmark. The top 3 have accumulated 4488 runs in the given period (since Jan ’22), also the most in the world. Team India also has the second-best strike (87.6) rate in the first powerplay marginally behind South Africa (88.8).

The number 4 issue for India

Since the departure of MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina etc. India have failed to find a stable middle order. Finding a stable number 4 batter is a headache yet again. Since 2022, India have tried 9 batters in 36 matches.

Iyer has batted the most at that number since 2022 with 342 runs in 8 innings with an average of 57. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant who is out of contention due to injury also batted in that position in 8 games. Ishan Kishan and Yadav couldn’t own the spot with below average performances. Sanju Samson was the most recent batter to get the slot and in the only innings he played batting at 4, he ended up scoring 51 in 41 balls against West Indies. Samson will be travelling to Sri Lanka as a reserve. Tilak Varma, the new entrant in the team could be handed a debut against Nepal at number 4 or 5. He bats left handed adding another dimension to the team.

In the press conference that followed the Indian squad announcement, skipper Rohit Sharma announced that the middle order has to be flexible and the players are expected not to stick to a certain position. This means we can see a rotating middle order according to how the top 3 perform.




S GILL24138869.4105.95
S IYER1881851.1292.95
V KOHLI2072938.36101.95
S DHAWAN2268834.474.21
I KISHAN1463448.76105.66
R SHARMA1763245.14109.15
KL RAHUL1547736.6978.97
S YADAV2138720.3696.02
H PANDYA1238034.5498.19
S SAMSON1134457.33104.55
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A good mix of pace and spin all-rounders

India have a good mix of pacers and spinners who can chip in with the bat. With Hardik Pandya regaining full fitness, he acquires a definite spot in the XI alongside Ravindra Jadeja which leaves out Axar Patel from the mix. If the team wants to have an extra spinner with some right handers in the opposition on spin friendly tracks in Sri Lanka, then we might see both Jadeja and Patel in action. Shardul Thakur also features in the list and has done fairly well in the recent opportunities thrown at him.

Hardik has scored 380 runs at an average of 34.55 since January 2022 with 16 wickets in 14 games. Axar has a healthy record with 232 runs at a strike rate of 108.9 and has played a few good knocks in death overs proving a good finisher when the team requires him to be. With 13 wickets in as many innings, Patel became the team’s lead allrounder in the brief absence of both Pandya and Jadeja. Jadeja has 149 runs in 8 innings and 6 wickets in 7 bowling innings and recently made a comeback in the team after a knee injury forced him out of action.


India Bowling: Best new ball attack

The bowling lineup looks solid as ever and gets strengthened with the comebacks of Jasprit Bumrah, Siraj and Shami. Bumrah was out of action for almost a year and made a successful comeback against Ireland leading the team successfully to a T20I series win. Siraj was withdrawn from the West Indies ODIs and Shami was rested for the whole tour to keep him fresh. The selectors also showered faith on the skiddy medium pacer Prasidh Krishna who impressed with the pace, bounce and movement he generated with the white ball. The rookie seamer has 25 scalps to his name in 14 matches and was also out due to injury. The inclusion of these four bowlers makes it a fresh pace attack. In the spin department, Kuldeep Yadav leads the attack along with Jadeja and Axar.




M SIRAJ234319.024.6
S THAKUR233624.325.6
KULDEEP 193420.925.5
Y CHAHAL142427.930.2
H PANDYA141625.928.0
W SUNDAR131524.730.4
M SHAMI111429.833.0
J BUMRAH51315.821.8
A PATEL131332.139.9
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Siraj has had a brilliant year as he is the 2nd highest wicket taker behind Alzarri Joseph since January 2022 with 43 wickets at an average of 19. Shardul Thakur stands 5th in the list with 36 wickets. Kuldeep has led the charts with 34 wickets, the most as an Indian spin bowler and 3rd behind Akeal Hosein and Wanindu Hasaranga.


The Indian attack has picked the most number of wickets since January 2022 (229) with a strike rate that is second only to Sri Lanka. The team also has the best strike rate in the first powerplay with 63 wickets. Mohammedd Siraj leads the wicket taking charts in that phase with 26 wickets to his name. Kuldeep is the table topper during the middle overs phase having 34 wickets.

The only trouble with the Indian attack is during the death overs. The strike rate is the lowest among the top 10 wicket taking nations with a wicket falling every 24.3 balls. There is not a single bowler who features in the list of top 10 wicket takers in that period but with the inclusion of Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna back in the ranks, it gives a fresh perspective and a big boost to the team to replicate the success.

The final word

Asia Cup is the prelude to the marquee event at home - the ODI World Cup. It is a piece of great news for Indian fans that their main players are injury free and available. KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer who were nursing injuries are fit and available for the Asia Cup. Asia Cup will be also a test for them to regain form ahead of the World Cup. The blowing department is bolstered by the presence of Prasidh Krishna and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. Both pacers coming back from injury showcased excellent form in the three-match T20I series in Ireland. India is the favourite to win the 2023 Asia Cup.

Dillip Mohanty
Dillip MohantySports Editor

Dillip has over two decades of experience in creating sports content. As the Sports Editor of SportsBoom, Dillip brings in a wealth of experience and expertise to the role. Dillip has worked with leading sports broadcasters and sports web content portals in Asia. He is an adept storyteller and has a special liking for data stories. He has a keen interest in data analysis and uncovering insights from large datasets. He loves to tell the story with rich and compelling data visualisation.