Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar seconded the decision to have Tilak Varma in the squad, he said “Yes, because he is in hot form. Look at his domestic career, he’s got the numbers to merit a call for India. And also, tongue in cheek, he is also getting ready for 50 overs cricket by failing in his last two matches in the T20 format. So he is getting ready for 50-over cricket. It is hard to find a weakness in him, in white ball cricket. And as I’ve mentioned before, let’s have some impact, quality players at number four, five, and six. There’s a tremendous rush for spots number one, two, and three, in Indian cricket, let’s have these number four, five, six batters out there.”

Speaking exclusively to Star Sports, former Australia cricketer Tom Moody spoke about the talent and variety that Tilak Varma gets to the squad, he said “I think it’s a wonderful selection. I’ll call it brave, but I also call it in the same breath smart. He is clearly a player on the rise, as I touched on earlier. He’s got not only skill but an enormous temperament, and he is showing that on a regular basis. We have talked about the value of left-handedness in the top order, so him coming in at that number five or six position is going to be valuable for India, particularly to have that balance against spin.” (Asia Cup 2023: ‘We Have Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill…,’ Says Ajit Agarkar On Shikhar Dhawan’s Absence In Squad)

Sanjay Manjrekar was very impressed with the clarity of the team selection and how there was reason behind every decision taken at the press conference, he said “The press conference was a very impressive debut by Ajit Agarkar as chairman of selectors. What I liked is both Rohit and Ajit giving a lot of respect to the people asking the questions. There were a lot of open conversations, no one was scared of trying to reveal something they shouldn’t. The answer about KL Rahul was important. A niggle has emerged along with the injury he recovered from, and that’s why they had an extra keeper. Now that kind of detailed sharing of information is what we need, and I hope they remain candid. Nice articulation of all the decisions that have been taken. And when you look at the squad, I think this is the World Cup squad that you’re looking at. Two players will be deleted. There is a chance one of the spinners will be deleted and an extra keeper or maybe a fast bowler. But this is more or less the World Cup squad that we are looking at, barring two players that they would have to leave out.”

Tom Moody spoke on how there no discrepancy behind the decisions in selecting the Indian squad, he said “Well firstly, what is looking good is the fitness, the tick that both KL Rahul and Iyer have received. That’s been the real talking point over the last few weeks. You know both quality players, both really do give that middle order some body and experience. I did enjoy the transparency and the honesty that came through in that press conference. I think communication is really important at times, whether it be in India or any other country for that matter.”

“There can’t be that cloak and dagger press conference where you have these hidden messages, and then you walk out of a press conference no clearer than what you did when you walked into that press conference. So I think the clarity in their messaging was really important. I liked the fact that they made it very clear about the wrist spinning decision, why they only went for one wrist spinner, and just small points around that.” (Rishabh Pant To Play ODI World Cup 2023? India Captain Rohit Sharma Provides Fitness Update)

“The little niggle that might have emerged with KL Rahul, just small things like that, you can’t help but get behind the new chairman and this team, because you feel like you’re involved, you feel like you are part of the journey now instead of it being you’re unsure of exactly what is happening. So I think there are obviously a lot of people who follow Indian cricket, more than anyone in the world. So I think the force of Indian cricket will get behind this pair and this team.”

Catch all the action from the Asia Cup 2023, August 30th – September 17th, 2023, 3.00 pm (IST) onwards, LIVE & Exclusive on the Star Sports Network and Disney+ Hotstar

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