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The absence of pacer Jasprit Bumrah has dealt a big blow on the team India's aspirations during the Asia Cup to be held in UAE later this month. Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: India’s squad for Asia Cup is finally out and the biggest name missing from the squad is Jasprit Bumrah, who has a back injury. Also Harshal Patel is unavailable due to a rib injury, which makes India’s fast bowling attack comparatively weaker on paper.

With the return of KL Rahul, who was out with a groin injury after the IPL and Virat Kohli who was rested after the England series, India’s batting looks solid with captain Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. The big concern for the fans must be, can Rahul gets in his grove after the hernia surgery he underwent? However, the bigger trepidation would be on Kohli’s return, who has had a disappointing Indian Premier League (IPL) and on the back of it the poor form in white-ball series against England. Will he get his form back, which has eluded the star batsman for long and who was India’s main stay in all formats?

Team composition

Another headache for team India is to fit both Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik in the playing XI after the return of Rahul and Kohli. If India pick both, then the Men in Blue will be playing with six specialist batsman — Rohit Sharma, Rahul, Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik — and two all-rounders in Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja. That leaves with only three bowlers, two pacers and one spinner in Yuzvendra Chahal, which is a risk in the shortest format.

The risk being, if any one of the bowlers has a bad day, who makes up for that bowler? And with only Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the experienced fast bowler, it will be asking for too much from the two new rookie fast bowlers — Arshdeep Singh and Avesh Khan — whosever India decide to play along with Chahal as the fifth bowler. The safe thing for Rohit is to play Deepak Hooda in the squad at the expense of either Pant or Karthik as he is handy with the ball and can give the captain a couple of good overs if required on any day.

These are all ifs and buts and we need to see what the captain and coach decide to go with. But without the mercurial Boom Boom Bumrah, who has been Rohit’s rescuer in both for his franchise Mumbai Indians and Team India. Rohit Sharma’s task is cut out in Asia Cup.