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The Board of Control for Cricket in India through its selection committee has recently announced the Indian squad for the upcoming 2018 Asia Cup that is slated to get underway on September 15.
In a major surprise, Virat Kohli has been left out from the 16-member squad. Knowing India will be touring Australia later this year, the 26-year has earned a well-earned rest in hopes of returning stronger for the remainder of the team's cricketing calendar.
Kohli is currently in the middle of leading the Indian cricket team in a five-match Test series against England. With the series locked at 1-2 in favor of the hosts, the England tour has been bittersweet for the visitors. Though, the same can't be said about Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper has been in an extraordinary form, having already scored 440 runs at an average of 73.33, which includes two centuries.
Recently, the Indian skipper further enhanced his reputation as the 'best batsman in the world' after he crossed Test 6000 runs on Day 2 of the fourth Test against England at Southampton.
Given the form he is in, fans would've relished the prospect of Kohli playing against arch-rivals Pakistan. Now with Kohli set to miss out, Rohit Sharma will be handed captaincy duties for the 2018 Asia Cup, while Shikhar Dhawan will be his deputy.
Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, and Bhuvneshwar mark their return to the squad after an impressive showing in the recently concluded quadrangular series. Another superb performer from the India A squad, Khaleel Ahmed, the 20-year-old pacer from Rajasthan earns his maiden call-up to the squad.
United Arab Emirates is set to host the 14th edition of the Asia Cup. The matches will be held at two venues - Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai and Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Asian heavyweights India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and one qualifier which yet to confirmed will feature in the competition. The Indian cricket team are the defending champions of the tournament - which was played in T20 format prior to the start of the T20 World Cup. However, the 2018 edition will see it revert back to its original 50-over format.
The entire squad is as follows:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (VC), KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Khaleel Ahmed