In the wake of India’s less-than-dominant performance in the West Indies, the team management is closely monitoring the fitness of KL Rahul, aiming for his return to the squad to bolster the middle-order lineup. Rahul’s availability for the upcoming Asia Cup will be determined based on his performance in a practice match scheduled for Sunday or Monday.
Although KL Rahul hasn’t received a formal fitness clearance from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore, the team management is eager to have him back as they believe his solid presence as a No.4 batter could provide the much-needed stability to the middle-order. Rahul, who underwent surgery for a right thigh injury in June, has been actively participating in fitness drills, batting, and wicketkeeping practice.
Sources reveal that Rahul’s performance and recovery in the 50-over practice match will play a decisive role in his inclusion for the Asia Cup squad. The NCA’s medical team intends to assess how he performs in a match scenario before granting the go-ahead to the national selectors. India’s first match in the Asia Cup is scheduled against Pakistan on September 2.While KL Rahul’s return is eagerly anticipated, Shreyas Iyer’s match fitness remains a concern. His prospects for the upcoming World Cup hinge on his performance in the coming weeks. The provisional squad for the event is set to be announced a month before the opening match on October 5.
Head coach Rahul Dravid is keen on reintegrating Rahul into the team to address the balance factor. NCA chief VVS Laxman has been personally overseeing Rahul’s progress and prefers not to rush his return to international cricket to avoid any potential risks.The No.4 batting slot has posed challenges for India in past World Cups as well. The team experimented with various players during the 2019 edition, highlighting the importance of stability in that position.
The current management is considering deploying Rahul as a specialist batter for the Asia Cup while entrusting wicketkeeping responsibilities to Ishan Kishan.As the cricketing fraternity eagerly awaits Rahul’s performance in the upcoming practice match, his return could potentially bolster India’s chances in the Asia Cup, providing the team with the much-needed depth and stability in the batting order.