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Rahul Dravid Optimistic About Team’s Fitness Ahead of Asia Cup and World Cup

India’s Head Coach, Rahul Dravid, is elated by the return of key players and their improved fitness as the team gears up for the Asia Cup and upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. The team has been plagued by injuries in recent times, hampering their preparations, but with the return of players like Shreyas Iyer and Jasprit Bumrah, Dravid is confident about India’s prospects.

As India sets its sights on the Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup thereafter, the return of star pacer Jasprit Bumrah has brought a smile to Rahul Dravid’s face. The Indian team, set to depart for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, will feature a near full-strength squad, a welcome change after a series of injury setbacks. Dravid expressed his delight at having key players back in the mix, particularly highlighting the returns of Shreyas Iyer, Jasprit Bumrah, and Prasidh Krishna to the ODI format after an extended absence.

While KL Rahul’s recovery timeline has been extended by a week, Dravid sees the silver lining in the return of Iyer, Bumrah, and Krishna. The trio showcased impressive performances during the Ireland T20I series, proving their readiness to make an impact on their comeback.

Also See: Upcoming Matches and Series List during Team India Schedule

Dravid emphasized the significance of Jasprit Bumrah’s return, acknowledging the crucial role he plays in the team. He stated, “Jasprit is someone we’ve missed a lot over the last two years. I must say he’s not played a lot of games. But it’s nice to have him back and we’ll ease him into it, slowly.” Dravid also outlined the strategy of gradually building up Bumrah’s workload, utilizing the Asia Cup as a platform to ramp up his preparation for the World Cup.

The Asia Cup arrives at the perfect juncture for India as they gear up for the World Cup, which will be played on home soil. With a rich history of host nations clinching the trophy, the pressure is on India to perform exceptionally well. Dravid, in his first stint as head coach at the senior men’s World Cup, exuded confidence in the team’s readiness and foresees a closely contested tournament.

While addressing the team’s home advantage, Dravid acknowledged that the playing field has leveled over the years due to the substantial exposure teams have gained in subcontinental conditions. Nevertheless, he remained optimistic about India’s prospects and eagerly anticipated the tournament.

The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will kick off on October 5, featuring defending champions England facing New Zealand in a rematch of the 2019 final. India’s campaign begins on October 8 against Australia in Chennai, followed by a highly anticipated clash against Pakistan on October 14 in Ahmedabad.

In a separate update, Dravid provided insight into the team’s fitness status ahead of the Asia Cup. Shreyas Iyer, who had undergone surgery for a recurring lower-back injury, has successfully met all fitness benchmarks and is fully prepared to contribute. KL Rahul, although making good progress, will miss the initial matches of the Asia Cup due to a lingering niggle.

Dravid acknowledged the discussions surrounding the No.4 and 5 spots in the team, clarifying that the candidates for these positions had been identified well in advance. Despite injuries to key contenders like Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Rishabh Pant, Dravid expressed confidence in the depth of the team’s talent pool.

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