XtraTime Web Desk: Indian ODI cricket team’s stand in skipper Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and seven other Indian cricketers have reached Dubai today to play the Asia Cup which is set to start from September 15. The players got a rousing reception at the team hotel after their arrival.
After a long gap former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be back in action in the limited overs format. Virat Kohli will not be leading the side as he was rested after a long tour of England. In his absence Rohit Sharma will lead the defending champions. The remaining members of the squad who was a part of the England tour will join the rest of the team on September 16 after a couple of days rest.
Earlier today beside skipper Rohit Sharma eight other players MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed departed for Dubai.
A lot will be depending on MS Dhoni there as he will be the key for India’s success in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli. Though he just scored 79 runs in 3 ODIs in England and a certain number of fans criticized him a lot for the poor show. In the deciding third ODI he scored 42 runs in 66 deliveries where the Men in Blue reached 258 runs and later in the press-conference Kohli too admitted that they were “25 to 30 runs short”.
The tournament will start on September 15 where Sri Lanka will face Bangladesh in the opening game. Rohit Sharma and his men will start their campaign on September 18 and later will face arch-rivals Pakistan the next day on September 19.
Asia Cup will return to 50-overs format this year to allow teams an opportunity to prepare for the limited-overs ICC World Cup in England and Wales next year. The last edition of the Asia Cup was a Twenty20 affair.
India have been placed in Group A alongside Hong Kong and Pakistan.