Asia Cup 2023: Rahul Dravid Confirms KL Rahul Won’t Be Available For India’s First Two Matches


Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has confirmed that KL Rahul won’t be available for selection for the first two matches of Asia Cup 2023. While India start their campaign against Pakistan on September 2, their next group match is against Nepal on September 4 both of which Rahul will miss as he continues to recover from a niggle.

“He (KL Rahul) is progressing really well. He will be unavailable for the first two matches but we will reassess on September 4,” Dravid said at a press conference a day before the Asia Cup 2023 opener on September 30. He also said that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) will look after Rahul while they are travelling.

Rahul’s injury means India are left with two choices as a wicketkeeper – that of Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. However, while Kishan is named in India’s 17-member squad, Samson was named as a travelling reserve. Moreover, Kishan is likely to be looked upon as a top-order batter but Rahul was expected to slot in the middle order which could tempt the management to slot in Samson in the middle-order.

Notably Rahul was coming on the back of an injury but picked up a fresh niggle which is what will keep him away from action for the first two matches of Asia Cup. The Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) captain suffered an injury midway through IPL 2023 and has been out of action ever since. Post his injury, it was Krunal Pandya who led the franchise this season.

While there were reports which suggested that Rahul batted without any complaints of pain and even kept wickets during India’s Asia Cup practice camp in Alur which had sparked hopes that he might be fit in time for India’s Asia Cup opener, Dravid’s statement at the presser has ruled out that possibility.

India Squad For Asia Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna

Traveling stand-by player: Sanju Samson


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