With the latest squad announcements for the World XI vs Asia XI friendly match series, it is most likely to be Virat Kohli versus Faf du Plessis in Bangladesh.
The two-match T20 series that has been organized by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will most probably be played on March 21 and 22, subject to the Indian skipper confirming his availability.
Faf du Plessis will lead the World XI squad for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Bangladesh’s founding father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are yet to confirm their presence for the friendly match series in Bangladesh as Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly had sent the names of Mohammed Shami, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, and Kuldeep Yadav to BCB for the two matches.
India is all set to play South Africa in the final ODI on 18th March and this could be a reason to worry for BCB as some of the Indian players won’t be able to participate in the first T20 friendly encounter.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are most likely to miss the T20 match between world XI and Asia XI scheduled on 18th March.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan announced the names of the players in Dhaka yesterday and amongst the players from the subcontinent, six Indian players are listed to participate in the friendly encounter; Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami.
Although the BCB president said Virat Kohli will be playing just one of the two matches, BCCI is waiting for the captain to confirm his participation.
The Indian team has a busy schedule with the IPL lined up especially the captain, who can not miss a single match against South Africa.
The second match of the two-match Test series against New Zealand is supposed to end on 4th March and the 3-match home series against South Africa is scheduled from March 12 to March 18.
The All-Star match is also doing rounds and will be played after the IPL.
As discussed earlier, no Pakistani player has been selected in the Asia XI squad and other than players from the Indian team, players from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh will be completing the Asia XI squad.
On the Kohli-Rahul situation, BCB President Hassan commented, “We haven’t officially signed contracts but four players, namely Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami are supposed to come as these are the names that we received from India. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will play one game each, but the players are yet to confirm their presence.”
After Pakistani players were excluded from the Asia XI squad, a Pakistan Cricket Board spokesperson said, “The T20Is between World XI and Asia XI are scheduled from March 16 to 20, while the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League is most likely to wind up on March 22. The dates of both the tournaments are fixed and there can’t be any negotiations on the schedule, we offered our regrets to BCB, both verbally and in writing, which they understood and accepted.”
The World XI squad is comprised of some renowned players from Australia, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, England, and Zimbabwe. The World XI squad will be led by Faf du Plessis and the squad is yet to be confirmed.
Hassan said, “I don’t remember all the names, but we will have three or four players from South Africa. Definitely, there will be the same number of players from the West Indies. Australia and New Zealand will be playing but we will try to find some (players). Jonny Bairstow is definitely coming. Lungi Ngidi is coming. Chris Gayle is supposed to play. Faf du Plessis is leading. We will have some of the best players around. We are uncertain about Pakistan since the PSL is will be ongoing. We will invite some of the cricketing greats.”
For the Asia XI squad, Hassan seemed to be certain for most of the players and said, “Players like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have finalized with us, from Afghanistan. Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane will play while from Sri Lanka, we will have Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera. From Bangladesh, we will have Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahmudullah and Liton Das.”
The Asia XI is most likely to be captained by Virat Kohli and World XI will see Faf du Plessis taking the charge. The two matches will be played on 18th March and 21st March in Bangladesh. Even though the match is being played to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Bangladesh’s father of the nation, the fans will be excited to see their idols compete in a friendly series.
Asia XI: Virat Kohli*, KL Rahul*, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mahmudullah
World XI: Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis, Nicholas Pooran, Brendan Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchell McClenaghan
Note: KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will play one match each. However, there has been no confirmation on the same.
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