Asia Cup 2023: Bumrah, Siraj and Pandya are likely to be rested, while Iyer's availability remains uncertain
As India gears up for their Asia Cup 2023 encounter against Bangladesh, a strategic move to rest Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Hardik Pandya while managing Shreyas Iyer's injury is on the cards.
With India having secured their spot in the Asia Cup 2023 final, they are set to introduce some of their backup players in the upcoming match against Bangladesh. It's an expected move, and we can anticipate around four or five changes in the starting eleven compared to the lineup that faced Sri Lanka recently. However, one of these changes is unlikely to involve Shreyas Iyer.
The middle-order batsman, who missed the Pakistan game due to a sudden bout of back spasms, spent nearly 20 minutes batting during the optional team practice on Thursday morning. Nonetheless, inside sources suggest that he has not yet fully recovered and is unlikely to feature in the match against Bangladesh on Friday.
In the event that Iyer is unable to participate, which appears probable, it is highly unlikely that he will be tested in the final, particularly with KL Rahul having secured his place in the team. His next opportunity to play may come during the three-match ODI series against Australia later this month.
Meanwhile, we can expect significant changes in the playing eleven, as Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj, the two fast bowlers who have played all four matches in the Asia Cup thus far, are expected to be rested. The team management's decision to rest Bumrah, who is returning from a 10-month hiatus, is evident. However, there is also a strong desire to provide rest to two other pacers, primarily Mohammed Shami.
Both Shami and Prasidh Krishna are likely to feature in the playing eleven, just as Shardul Thakur, who was omitted from the previous match in favor of Axar Patel, may also return. Additionally, there's a possibility that Hardik Pandya may be left out of the lineup. Therefore, this implies three changes, with Bumrah, Siraj, and Pandya making way for Shami, Prasidh, and Thakur in the bowling department.
Changes may also be expected in the batting order, possibly to provide an opportunity to Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma, with Surya being the more likely candidate, given his inclusion in the World Cup squad. It wouldn't be surprising if one of the top-order batsmen, possibly even Virat Kohli, is rested.
When asked about these potential changes, Paras Mhambrey, the India bowling coach, stated that the team is open to them. He mentioned that there is a chance to give other players an opportunity to play, and the captain is likely to announce the final lineup on Friday. Since India has already secured a spot in the final, the team is considering various options for the upcoming match in Colombo.