Indian cricket team's star batter KL Rahul will miss the first two encounters of the highly anticipated 2023 Asia Cup due to injury, as confirmed by the team's head coach Rahul Dravid on Tuesday, August 29.
After a prolonged period of recuperation following a thigh injury in May this year, Rahul's progress has been put on hold again after another niggle just days before his comeback to professional cricket.
Rahul managed to regain his fitness in time to secure his spot in India's squad for the Asia Cup after an injury during this year's IPL. However, last week, Ajit Agarkar, the chief selector of the India men's team, hinted that the 31-year-old cricketer might skip at least the opening match of the championship as he is injured again.
On Tuesday, August 29, KL Rahul, did not keep wickets during the India camp, which s currently being held in Alur. Moments later, Dravid confirmed the batter will not play in the first two games of the event.
The Indian team is scheduled to face Pakistan in their inaugural match on Saturday, September 2, in Pallekele. Subsequently, they will lock horns with Nepal in another group-stage fixture on Monday.
Dravid stated that a final decision regarding Rahul's involvement in the Super Fours, should India advance, will be taken on September 4. While Ishan Kishan is designated as the backup wicketkeeper-batsman in the squad, Sanju Samson has been included as a travelling reserve.
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KL Rahul injury timeline
- In June 2015, Rahul was forced to withdraw from a one-off Test against Bangladesh due to dengue, shortly after his Test debut.
- In September 2015, a quadriceps strain from India's 2015 tour of Sri Lanka led to Rahul's absence from the 2015 Karnataka Premier League.
- A hamstring injury during the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur in September 2016 sidelined him for the rest of the series.
- In November 2016, Rahul injured his forearm in a comeback game against England, and further aggravated the injury during training, causing him to miss matches.
- A shoulder injury during the first Test against Australia in February 2017 led to Rahul's absence from IPL 2017 and Champions Trophy 2017 due to surgery.
- Various other incidents, such as viral fever and awkward landings, intermittently affected his participation in matches over the years.
In May 2023, Rahul's participation in the IPL was cut short due to a right thigh muscle injury that required surgery. As a result, he missed not only the remainder of the IPL but also significant events like the World Test Championship final and tours to the West Indies and Ireland.
With his recovery from the thigh injury almost complete, Rahul was selected for the Asia Cup squad. Unfortunately, another undisclosed ‘niggle' emerged, ruling him out of the first two matches of the tournament.