Asia Cup, IND v BAN: Shreyas Iyer Yet to Recover as India Overhaul Squad; Tilak Varma Makes Debut

Colombo: India made as many as 5 changes to their lineup for their Asia Cup Super 4 match against Bangladesh today, but Shreyas Iyer was notably absent. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) provided an official medical update stating that while Iyer is improving, he has not fully recovered from his injury. Iyer had recently returned to the Indian team after a back injury but suffered a setback during a warm-up session before the Super 4 match against Pakistan.

Since that incident, Iyer has not participated in the tournament. Although he spent time in the nets before the Bangladesh match, he experienced some discomfort during a physical drill. With the upcoming World Cup, the Indian team management decided not to risk Iyer in a dead rubber match. It remains uncertain whether he will be fit for the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka.

In the absence of key players like Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, and Jasprit Bumrah, India used the match against Bangladesh to provide playing time to benched players. Tilak Varma made his ODI debut, and Suryakumar Yadav and Prasidh Krishna were included in the XI for the first time in the Asia Cup. Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Shami also returned to the lineup.

Tilak Varma’s debut is a strategic move, considering the uncertainty surrounding Iyer’s fitness. Although not part of India’s World Cup squad initially, there is a possibility for changes until September 28. Varma had an impressive T20I debut against the West Indies and offers the advantage of being a left-hander who can provide part-time off-spin.

Another player looking to seize this opportunity is Suryakumar Yadav. While he has excelled in T20Is, Yadav aims to establish himself in the ODI format, and the team management has shown faith in him.

In the match against Bangladesh, India’s captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and chose to field first, a departure from their usual strategy in the tournament. Sharma cited the opportunity to bat under lights as a reason for the decision, noting that the pitch had something for both batsmen and bowlers.

Playing XIs

Bangladesh: Litton Das(w), Tanzid Hasan, Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman

India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul(w), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Prasidh Krishna

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