Rohit Sharma Should Step Up And Say That This Is My Playing XI, Says Mohammad Kaif


Mohammad Kaif, the former India cricketer feels that India skipper Rohit Sharma should announce India’s playing XI for Asia Cup 2022 much ahead of the start of the tournament.

Mohammad Kaif said such a statement move would instil a strong belief among the team’s core players.  Mohammad Kaif added that the move will send out a strong message that Team India is out to avenge the 10-wicket loss to Pakistan that they suffered at the ICC T20I World Cup last year (2021).

The terrific spell of Shaheen Shah Afridi (3/31) restricted India to 151/7 in 20 overs. In response, Pakistan chased down it comfortably as the captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan scripted a historic 10-wicket win. Babar Azam scored 68 runs in 52 balls while Mohammad Rizwan played even better with a knock of 55-ball 79 runs.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Mohammad Kaif Requests Rohit Sharma To Make A Statement By Announcing Playing XI Prior To The Match Day

The Indian team would be out to avenge the 10-wicket drubbing they suffered against Pakistan when the two teams locked horns the last time in the T20 World Cup 2021.

Mohammad Kaif said that announcing the playing XI would go a long way in sending a message to the opposition that they want to win the Asia Cup and they have the team to beat anyone on their day.

India is the defending champions of the tournament. India won the previous edition of the Asia Cup in 2018 by defeating Bangladesh in the final. India has also won the most 7 titles out of 12 Asia Cup tournaments. Sri Lanka has won 5 titles while Pakistan accounts for 2 titles.

“This is not about playing mind games. I request Rohit Sharma to make a statement, that this is our playing XI. Good luck to all the players. Let’s win this Asia Cup. We have to win and defeat Pakistan as it is a big tournament. We’ve lost to them in the T20 World Cup. We are going ahead with a plan.”

India vs Pakistan
India vs Pakistan (Credits: Twitter)

He added: “The biggest thing is that [India] should announce their playing XI in a couple of days. Rohit Sharma should step up and say that this is my XI (except in case of any injury). Last year, Pakistan announced their XI a day earlier, but we waited for the toss and only made the decision after looking at the ground and conditions.”

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, and Suryakumar Yadav among others will return as India begin their campaign in the Asia Cup 2022 against Pakistan, which will be the first of many as the two teams are tipped to meet in the Super Fours stage as well.

Mohammad Kaif: Announcing Playing XI In Advance Sends A Big Message To Opponents That India Is Ready

A veteran of 125 ODIs, Mohammad Kaif felt that announcing the playing XI in advance will send out a strong message to the opposition that the Indian cricket team is here to win the Asia Cup 2022. He said that the move will give clarity to the players about their roles so there are no loopholes.

“It sends a big message to opponents that we are ready. There is no doubt about the role of the players. All we have to do is go and win the match. There should not be any confusion among players about whether they will play in the final XI or not.”

Mohammad Kaif. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Mohammad Kaif. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India will begin their Asia Cup campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on August 28 in Dubai.

India squad for the Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, and Avesh Khan.

Standby Players: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, and Axar Patel.


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