In a setback for Team India ahead of their Asia Cup 2023 campaign, wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul will miss the highly anticipated clash against Pakistan, scheduled for September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. The news was confirmed by Team India coach Rahul Dravid during a press conference, shedding light on Rahul’s ongoing recovery process.
Rahul, who had recently battled an injury, was making significant strides in his rehabilitation. However, a subsequent niggle has prompted a cautious approach, leading to his absence from the crucial opening encounter against Pakistan. Dravid explained that Rahul’s recovery trajectory aligns with the team’s objectives, and the coaching staff is optimistic about his progress.
“He (KL Rahul) had a good week with us, he is progressing really well on the route that we want to take, but he will be unavailable for the first part of the Kandy leg of the trip. The NCA will be looking after him while we are traveling. We will reassess him on the fourth (September 4) and we will take it from there. The signs are good and he is progressing really well,” Dravid articulated, reflecting on Rahul’s status.
As Team India fine-tunes its preparations for the Asia Cup 2023 in the training camp at Alur, located on the outskirts of Bengaluru in Karnataka, the absence of Rahul casts a temporary shadow over the team’s lineup. The Asia Cup, a marquee event on the cricketing calendar, is set to kick off on August 30, with Pakistan facing Nepal in Multan in the inaugural match.
India’s opening match against Pakistan, slated for September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, promises to be a high-octane encounter that will ignite the passion of cricket fans around the world.
The Asia Cup’s group stage format positions Pakistan, India, and Nepal in Group A, while Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka form Group B. The tournament is characterized by a hybrid model, with Pakistan hosting matches at two venues and Sri Lanka overseeing the remaining games.
The preliminary six group-stage matches will pave the way for the thrilling Super Fours stage, commencing on September 6, where the top teams will jostle for supremacy. The pinnacle of the competition will unfold on September 17 in Colombo, with the final poised to be contested by the top two teams emerging from the Super Fours.
Indian Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.
Pakistan Squad: Babar Azam (c), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Haris, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi.