Asian Games: India's men's & women’s cricket teams hit prep mode in Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings opener Ruturaj Gaikwad to lead; Harmanpreet Kaur to become eligible again after first two games

Ruturaj Gaikwad (Photo: Twitter/BCCI)
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Photo: Twitter/BCCI)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

While the Indian men’s cricket team are busy with their Asia Cup campaign, a second choice group of Men in Blue converged at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for a lengthy training camp for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this month. They will be camping there till September 24 while the women’s squad will have a short four-day camp there ahead of their departure from Wednesday. 

Ruturaj Gaikwad, the ever-smiling Chennai Super Kings opening batter, who will be leading the Indian team who boasts of the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh and Arshdeep Singh, posted a photo of him doing fielding drills at his home town in Pune before the camp.  

A full-strength women’s team, led by Harmanpreet Kaur with the likes of Smriti Mandhana, Jemima Rodrigues and Shafali Verna, will be in action there. However, as Harmanpreet is serving a two-match suspension for her outburst against umpires in their last tour of Bangladesh, she will be eligible to lead the side only if they qualify for the final. Vice-captain Mandhana will be leading out the squad in the first two games.  

It will be the first time that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to send both teams to the multi-discipline Games, which will not be an easy playground though with Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the fray alongwith minnows like Singapore and Nepal. The event will be played in T20 format in both categories – and a successful show will only strengthen the claims of the sport making an entry in the Olympics fold from Los Angeles 2028. All matches will be played at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket field. 

NCA coaches will be in charge of both teams with VVS Laxman, the current director who had stepped into the head coach’s role in a number of assignments (with Rahul Dravid being busy with Rohit Sharma & Co) in charge of men’s team and former Indian allrounder Hrishikesh Kanitkar taking care of women’s side. Kanitkar, incidentally, has strong credentials as a coach of the Under-19 and India A teams in the past.  

The men’s category comprises of three groups as the Big Four: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been given byes into quarter-finals on the basis of their rankings. Indian men will open their campaign on October 3.  

Men’s squad: Ruturaj Gaikwad (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh (wk).  Standbys: Yash Thakur, Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sai Sudharsan. Support Staff: VVS Laxman (head coach), Sairaj Bahutule (bowling coach), Munish Bali (fielding coach), Thulasi Ram Yuvaraj (physio), AI Harrsha (S&C coach), Nandan Majhi (masseur), Maroof Fajandar (logistics manager) and Ashok Sadh (training assistant). Women’s squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Devika Vaidya, Anjali Sarvani, Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Uma Chetry (wk), Anusha Bareddy. Standbys: Harleen Deol, Kashvee Gautam, Sneh Rana, Saika Ishaque, Pooja Vastrakar. Support Staff: Hrishikesh Kanitkar (head coach), Rajib Dutta (bowling coach), Subhadeep Ghosh (fielding coach), Anand Date (S&C coach), Vikas Pandit (logistics manager), Kranthi Kumar Golla (training asst), Neha Karnik (physio) and Akanksha Satyavanshi (physio). 

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Published: 12 Sep 2023, 7:53 PM