The omission of the young pace bowler, Umran Malik, from Team India’s Asian Games 2023 roster came as a surprise to many. However, an unfortunate injury to Shivam Mavi may open the door for Malik to join the team. The Board of Cricket for Control in India (BCCI) is expected to announce the replacement in the coming days.
The Indian squad for the event is scheduled to assemble in Bangalore for a two-week preparatory camp before departing for Hangzhou. According to a report in the Indian Express, the selectors had initially considered Yash Thakur, but he is currently recovering from a back injury, rendering him unavailable. Thakur had represented the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) in the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL).
Ruturaj Gaikwad will lead Team India’s second-string squad for the Asian Games, with the men’s T20 event taking place from September 28 to October 8. Since this period coincides with the Men in Blue’s home ODI series against Australia and the preparations for the World Cup, the primary team members were not in contention for selection.
Given the primary team’s coaching staff’s focus on the World Cup, the Asian Games squad will be under the guidance of VVS Laxman, the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Sariaj Bahutule will be responsible for the bowling department, while Munish Bali will serve as the fielding coach.
Umran Malik earned his first call-up to the Indian team after an impressive 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign with the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). However, Malik’s recent form has been less than stellar, which led to his exclusion from the Asia Cup, World Cup, and Asian Games squads.
During the 2023 IPL, Malik participated in only eight matches, securing five wickets with an economy rate of 10.85. He also featured in two ODIs for Team India during their tour of the Caribbean but failed to make a significant impact.
Team India squad for 2023 Asian Games : Ruturaj Gaikwad (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, and Prabhsimran Singh (wk).