Star Sports video revealed that Rahul is slated to undergo his fitness test on Friday and perform some drills under the watchful eyes of the trainer at the NCA
KL Rahul‘s return to the Indian squad for the 2023 Asia Cup was among the notable selections. The India wicketkeeper-batsman has been on the sidelines since May this year, when he incurred a hamstring injury during the IPL 2023 and, after undergoing surgery, was recovering at the National Cricket Academy. However, BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar revealed that despite his selection for the continental event, which precedes the ODI World Cup by a month, Rahul has picked up a fresh injury scare. The revelation was heavily criticized by most experts. However, on Friday, the broadcasters for the Asia Cup, Star Sports, issued a clarification on Agarkar’s remark.
Earlier this week, when the 17-member squad for the Asia Cup was announced by Agarkar, in the presence of captain Rohit Sharma, after a long meeting in New Delhi, the newly-appointed chief selector revealed that Rahul, while he recovered from his hamstring injury, picked up a niggle during practice. He revealed that it wasn’t a scare, but admitted that the injury led to the committee adding Sanju Samson as a reserve to the squad.
“That’s why Sanju Samson is at the moment traveling with us. But the physios, I am sure, will get a report, at some stage, they are all expected to be fit. If not at the start of the Asia Cup, probably from the 2nd and 3rd games (Rahul to be fit). He is well on track. Shreyas Iyer has been passed fit. Two important teams for us. We don’t have to pick the World Cup team until September 5. That gives us more time,” he had said.
While the likes of Ravi Shastri, former head coach, had warned against the selection of both Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who has been out since March with a lower back injury, given their long absence from action, former India selector, Kris Srikkanth lashed out at Agarkar on his YouTube channel.
“It’s being said that KL Rahul has a niggle. If you have a niggle, don’t pick him for the squad. If a player is not fit during selection, you shouldn’t pick him. That was our policy. On the day of selection, if a player is not fit, don’t select him,” he said.
‘Ajit Agarkar made that statement because…’
Speaking on the issue during Star Sports, which pertained to India’s training camp for the Asia Cup, it was revealed that Rahul is slated to undergo his fitness test on Friday and perform some drills under the watchful eyes of the trainer at the NCA. It was also said that there is little or no concern over Rahul’s niggle and that he would come through eventually over the next five days before India leave for Asia Cup on August 30, and that Ajit Agarkar’s statement only meant that the batter would require time to recover from the practice matches he played at the NCA prior to his selection for the tournament.
Here is what was revealed in the Star Sports video:
“There is a lot of focus on KL Rahul because he is making a comeback from a niggle. He is doing his fitness drills today. He did undergo a couple of match simulations or practice games at the NCA before the selection happened. He batted and kept wickets for a long time. Today, he has been doing fitness drills with the NCA trainer. Yes it is a niggle, but not anything serious because he looks absolutely fine. We cannot say that he is going to take a lot of time as Ajit Agarkar pointed out saying that he will be missing a couple of matches early on because he played a couple of practice matches and will need time to recover and then he will also be put through some training exercises. So putting him in match zone straight away, especially against Pakistan, is something which the selectors will be mindful and hence Agarkar made that statement. But we will see Rahul coning through in the next five days.”