While India’s ongoing tour of England continues to grab all the headlines, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) made a significant announcement that the squad for upcoming Asia Cup will be announced on September 1. Team India has been on the road for more than two months now and it is highly likely that the national selectors will rest a few regular members of the ODI side and thus open the window for some of the fringe players who have been waiting for a chance to shine on the global cricketing stage.
The recently concluded Quadrangular Series, which featured two teams from India, served as a good indicator of the country’s bench strength and players who did well in the tournament will certainly in the selection panel’s mind while picking the squad for Asia Cup in UAE.
Here are 5 players who did well in the Quadrangular Series and deserve a chance in the Indian side for Asia Cup 2018:
1. Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey was the captain of India B side in the recently concluded Quadrangular Series and played a leading role in his side’s title win. With 306 runs in 4 innings, the Karnataka batsman emerged as the tournament’s leading run-scorer and was particularly impressive in the final two games where he scored a brilliant century and a 73 not out.
Pandey is one of the many batsmen who have been tried at the crucial Number 4 slot in India’s middle-order but hasn’t been able to nail the place. If given a chance, one feels that the time might just be right for the 29-year-old to make the Asia Cup his own and cement his status as a key middle-order batsman ahead of the ICC ODI World Cup in England next year.
2. Prasidh Krishna
IPL 2018 proved to a massive turning point in Prasidh Krishna‘s career as his stint with Kolkata Knight Riders propelled him from being a relatively unknown commodity to a household name. It is true that the 22-year-old lucked out a bit owing to Kamlesh Nagarkoti’s injury but his chance was well deserved after impressing everyone while representing Karnataka in Vijay Hazare and Deodhar Trophy.
The MSK Prasad-led selection committee will perhaps look at Mohammad Siraj and Deepak Chahar ahead of Prasidh as far as the Asia Cup is concerned but if the Quadrangular Series is a criteria, it is the young Karnataka pacer who deserves a go with the senior side as he picked up 8 wickets in the tournament and ended up finishing second behind Shreyas Gopal in the list of highest wicket-takers.
3. Mayank Agarwal
After a lacklustre IPL season with Kings XI Punjab, Mayank Agarwal has once again put himself on the national cricketing map after amassing a tally of 236 runs while opening the batting for India B in the recently concluded Quadrangular Series. The runs have come at the most opportune of times as he was unable to live up to the hype generated around his name following a dream domestic campaign for Karnataka last season.
The 27-year-old opener recorded a tally of 2162 runs in 32 innings across all three formats last season, which is the most by any batsman in Indian domestic circuit. Having rediscovered his form now, Mayank will be a prime candidate to board the flight to UAE if the selectors decide to rest Rohit Sharma‘s regular opening partner Shikhar Dhawan following a hectic tour of England.
4. Krunal Pandya
The elder of the two Pandya brothers, Krunal Pandya is another player who has made a name for himself following his exploits for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After making his debut in the 2016 season, the all-rounder has accumulated 708 runs at a deadly strike-rate of 154 and also picked up 28 wickets for Rohit Sharma’s side.
After getting a call up to India A side for the tri-series involving England Lions and West Indies A, Krunal has also shown his mettle on the international stage. He has also displayed a priceless ability to do well under pressure and could be the ideal man to bat at Number 6 for India in the upcoming Asia Cup. With younger brother Hardik likely to be rested after his excursions in England, the national selection panel will do well to hand Krunal his maiden ODI stint with the senior side.
5. Ambati Rayudu
After a dream run in the IPL where he was instrumental in leading Chennai Super Kings to the title, Ambati Rayudu must have been on cloud nine after being recalled into the Indian ODI side for the tour of England following a gap of almost two years. However, the joy didn’t last long as he failed the mandatory ‘Yo-Yo’ fitness test and was subsequently dropped from the touring party.
Nonetheless, he has bounced back strongly from the setback and finished as the third-highest run-getter in the Quadrangular Series while playing for India A. With some key players likely to be rested, Rayudu will be fancying his chances of finally sealing a return to the national side when the selectors announce the 15-man squad for Asia Cup 2018.
WATCH: MS Dhoni Loses His Cool on Pandey – Caught on Stump Mic – South Africa vs India