Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul make a comeback in the India Asia Cup squad, set to take place in Sri Lanka and Pakistan from August 30.
The two batters were out injured due to respective injuries, with Iyer undergoing a back injury and Rahul nursing an injured thigh. Their return, however, comes as a significant boost for India's middle-order, a timely development with the impending World Cup now less than two months away.
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Ajit Agarkar, the Chairman of the Indian Senior Men's Selection Committee, has officially confirmed that Iyer has successfully returned to full fitness and even took part in match simulations organised by the National Cricket Academy.
However, Rahul is currently managing a minor ailment unrelated to his past injury, suffering a niggle during nets. According to Agarkar, there exists a possibility that Rahul might sit out for a game or perhaps two during the Asia Cup.
As a precautionary measure, the selection committee has designated Sanju Samson as the backup player within the India Asia Cup squad.
Tilak Varma, whose remarkable performance during his debut appearance on the international stage in the West Indies garnered attention, has earned his first call-up to the One Day International (ODI) setup.
Despite an under-par record in the 50-over format, Suryakumar Yadav has successfully retained his place among the 17 players included in the squad. Maintaining his role as vice-captain in the fifty-over setup is Hardik Pandya, who also holds the position of captain for the Twenty20 International (T20I) format.
Leading the pace attack is Jasprit Bumrah, whose much-anticipated comeback in Ireland has been highly successful.
The quick had been away for 11 months and returned to professional cricket after a back surgery last week. Bumrah is accompanied by a pace bowling unit composed of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna in the India Asia Cup squad, and the versatile bowling all-rounder Shardul Thakur.
In the spin department, the selection has veered towards including Kuldeep Yadav as the premier spinner. This decision has resulted in Yuzvendra Chahal's omission from the squad. Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel, both left-hand orthodox spin all-rounders, further fortify the slower bowling department.
India's campaign in the Asia Cup will begin against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2, set to take place in Pallekele. Subsequently, on September 4, India will play Nepal in a fixture, following which the Super Fours will begin.
India Asia Cup squad 2023
Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (Vice-Captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Prasidh Krishna, with Sanju Samson designated as the backup player.