The facts are quite boring. The squad for the Asia Cup has been named, and it's more or less full strength, except it isn't.
MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Pragyan Ojha, Ashok Dinda, R Ashwin, Saurabh Tiwary.
Sachin wanted to spend more time with his family, so he was granted leave. Fair enough, he shouldn't be playing lame ODI tourneys like the Asia Cup anyway; he should only be playing important games, like against New Zealand (upcoming tri-series) or the World Cup (cricket).
Does anyone else think that he just doesn't want to see Sri Lankan faces? We've played 'em a while ago, we were just playing 'em the other day, and we're going to play them in Tests and ODI's next month. I'd want a rest, too.
Yuvraj Singh is out - whether due to injuries, form or brattiness, I can't confirm. But yeah, whatever, let him spend some time in the gym. Watching TV.
Dinesh 'Start-stop' Karthik has also been booted, as have Yusuf 'I'll hit them full but leave them short' Pathan and Murali 'test batsman but only in ODIs' Vijay. Rightfully so.
The pace attack looks solid with Zak, Nehra and PK. Real solid. Solid.
Dinda is their cover, so I assume Vinay Kumar hasn't recovered from whatever he's tweaked, because I don't recall Dinda doing particularly well. How is Irfan Pathan not more useful than either of those two?
Mishra loses his place to Ashwin, who impressed in the way only bit-part players can impress. Speaking of which, Jadeja has been retained. Fair enough, he did enough to avoid the axe, but not enough to avoid being always considered for it. Ojha, who I actually consider to be our best spinner on current form, is also there. Harby remains first-choice.
And the surprise of the day: Saurabh Tiwary, of Jharkhand and the Mumbai Indians, makes the cut. He was always on the radar because of his top form (domestic and IPL), but it's pretty strange that his chance arrives in the squad of the Asia Cup instead of the crap that just got over.
But hey, strange is the new normal, right?