KL Rahul is all set to join the Indian team in Kandy, Sri Lanka for the 2023 Asia Cup as the wicketkeeper-batter has cleared the fitness test. He will however be available for selection from the Super 4 stage onwards. The big development came a day after India faced arch-rivals Pakistan in a blockbuster match at the Pallekele International Stadium on Saturday where his replacement, Ishan Kishan, scored a thrilling knock of 82 off 81 before rain washed out the second innings resulting in the two teams sharing a point each.
Rahul, who has been out of action since May this year when he incurred a hamstring injury and later underwent a surgery as well, suffered a fresh niggle just days before his selection as he was going through match simulations and practice games at the NCA to prove his fitness.
BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar had later revealed during the squad announcement for the Asia Cup last week in New Delhi that although the fresh blow is not much of a concern for India and that he would only miss the group-stage matches in the tournament. He later showed improvement in the training camp that India staged at Alur before leaving for Sri Lanka where he underwent intensive sessions in batting and wicketkeeping which hinted that he would probably make the XI for the Pakistan clash. But he was asked to stay back at the NCA as a “precautionary measure” with the ODI World Cup a month later.
On Sunday, a day after India’s Asia Cup opener and before their second game against Nepal, Rev Sportz reported that Rahul has cleared the fitness test at the NCA and will join the Indian team in Kandy. The report added that he will be available for selection from the Super 4 stage.
KL Rahul vs Ishan Kishan?
In his absence in the Pakistan match, Ishan made the playing XI and amid much debate over his batting position, the youngster walked in at No. 5 for India, where he has never batted before in his ODI career, and smashed a stunning knock of 82 runs, which alongside Hardik Pandya’s 87, helped India fightback after Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf wreaked havoc.
The knock, while receiving immense praise, also sparked a debate on whether India should now go for Rahul when he is fit or continue with an in-form Ishan, who hit his fourth consecutive fifty on Saturday.