Tags: Asia Cup 2023, India, Kannaur Lokesh Rahul, Ravishankar Jayadritha Shastri

Published on: Aug 16, 2023

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri feels that picking KL Rahul in the Indian playing XI for Asia Cup 2023 is a move fraught with too much risk. Shastri pointed out that the Indian team think is also looking at Rahul as a keeper-batter option, which is an even bigger no given the circumstances.

While taking part in IPL 2023, Rahul injured his right thigh and had to undergo surgery subsequently. He has been on the sidelines ever since. As part of his ongoing rehabilitation, Rahul started batting in the nets at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru last month. However, doubts remain over his availability for the Asia Cup as well as World Cup 2023.

There are reports that Rahul might be fit enough to take part in the Asia Cup. During a discussion on Star Sports about the batter’s possible comeback, Shastri commented, "See when when you're talking of a player (KL Rahul) who's not played and is recovering from injury. To think of him in the XI of the Asia Cup, you're asking a little too much of the player himself. And then you're talking keeping. When a guy comes from an injury, the range of movement and things of that sort, so that's a no no.”

Having made his debut in 2014, Rahul has so far represented India in 47 Tests, 54 ODIs and 72 T20Is. He was recently seen in a match simulation training with Shreyas Iyer, who is also recovering from his back injury.

Shastri also hinted that India should try and bring in two left-handers in Tilak Varma and Yashasvi Jaiswal in the ODI format keeping the World Cup in mind. He commented, "There are three other positions where I think two left handers have to come in, apart from the top four you mentioned. Now this is where the selectors' role comes in because they are watching. They know who's the guy who's hot. If Tilak Varma is hot, bring him in. If you think Yashasvi Jaiswal is hot, bring him in.”

Both Varma and Jaiswal made impressive international entries during the tour of West Indies. While Jaiswal hammered 171 on Test debut, Varma (173 runs from five innings) was India’s leading run-getter, averaging 57.67 at a strike rate of 140.65.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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