Kohli, Pant, Shami in Asia XI squad for T20Is in Bangladesh
India skipper Virat Kohli was on Tuesday named in the Asia XI squad to take on a Faf du Plessis-led World XI in next month’s Bangabandhu 100-year celebration three-match T20 International series at Dhaka.
Kohli has been named by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for one match subject to availability, which is yet to be confirmed by the BCCI, ‘ESPNCricinfo’ reported.
The matches, to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, are scheduled to be held from March 18 to 22.
According to the website, BCB president Nazmul Hassan read out the names of the players who are part of the squad, which is dominated by Indians — Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, pacer Mohammed Shami and spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
BCB wants Kohli to be part of all the T20 Internationals but considering the hectic schedule of the Indian team, it remains to be seen if the maestro makes himself available.
The Indian team is currently touring New Zealand and is engaged in a two-match Test series.
A week after the New Zealand tour ends, India will play a three-match ODI series against South Africa beginning March 12 in Dharamsala.
The second game will be played in Lucknow on March 15 and third in Kolkata on March 18. The IPL also starts on March 29.
Asked about the Indian players’ availability for the matches, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly last Friday said they “can send four to five players”.
The du Plessis-led World XI includes, among others, veteran big-hitters Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.
The Asia XI features four Bangladeshi players in Mustafizur Rehman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das. The squad does not feature any Pakistani player.
Asia XI squad: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Sandeep Lamichhane.
World XI squad: Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Brendan Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchell McClenaghan.