"You could pick...." - Gautam Gambhir rues the absence of CSK all-rounder in India's Asia Cup squad

Led by Ajit Agarkar, the selection committee unveiled a 17-member squad for the Asia Cup earlier today (August 21).
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Gautam Gambhir has identified a CSK all-rounder whom he believes should have been selected for Team India's roster in the upcoming 2023 Asia Cup. The second pace-bowling all-rounder in the squad, Shardul Thakur, is poised to serve as Hardik Pandya's backup. The official Asia Cup squad for India was unveiled on Monday (August 21).

Led by Ajit Agarkar, the selection committee unveiled a 17-member squad for the Asia Cup. The return of players such as KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Jasprit Bumrah was notable, while Yuzvendra Chahal faced exclusion from the lineup. Chahal found himself benched in all three matches against West Indies, prompting the selectors to omit him as part of the World Cup preparation.

The selection committee's comprehensive approach is evident in the appointment of backup players for nearly every position. Following the announcement, former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir weighed in, deeming it a "well-constructed squad." He opined that the Indian team would benefit from an additional leg-spinner.

Gambhir further advocated for the inclusion of Shivam Dube, asserting that Shardul Thakur should not be regarded as a mere backup for Hardik Pandya.

 Gambhir opines Shivam Dube can be a backup for Hardik Pandya

“It’s a decent squad, according to me a nice squad is picked, but somewhere a wrist spinner is needed. It’s a seam-heavy squad and I believe either Ravi Bishnoi or Yuzvendra Chahal should have been picked because of conditions, when you are playing in India it’s important to keep two wrist spinners in the squad. Somewhere it’s a one-dimensional attack, two left-arm spinners, one wrist spinner and other pacers, it’s a seam-heavy attack (four-seamers). I think it’s a place where they could do better if they have selected one out of either leg-spinner" Gambhir said on Star Sports.

“I believe you could give a break to Mohammad Shami and the form in which Prasidh Krishna is, you could pick a wrist spinner and with that one name, you could have considered considering the form in which he is, Shivam Dube because somewhere you need to have a back up for Hardik Pandya. Shardul Thakur cannot be Hardik’s backup," Gambhir added.

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Dube marked his return to the Indian team during the Ireland series, securing his position based on his performance for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2023. He has exclusively reclaimed his spot in the T20I squad and is not under consideration for the ODI team.

The BCCI has a two-week window to finalize the squad for the 2023 World Cup. The majority of players selected for the Asia Cup squad are expected to retain their places in the World Cup team.

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