Ishan to open, Kohli at No. 4, Gill…: What are India’s likely scenarios with KL Rahul out of Asia Cup group stage?


The extended sessions of batting practice, being part of match simulations, the intense wicketkeeping drills – all gave hopes that BCCI selector Ajit Agarkar’s revelation from a week back would turn out to be wrong and that KL Rahul would battle out from the fresh injury blow, incurred just days before his Asia Cup selection, and make himself available to be part of India’s XI for the continental tournament. The belief was such, courtesy of the footages shown by Star Sports from India’s training camp in Alur, that the discussion on a Plan B for became inconsequential. But Agarkar was right. After the conclusion of the camp on Tuesday, India head coach Rahul Dravid reiterated what the chairman of selectors had said a week back in New Delhi. Rahul, despite showing improvements, was ruled out of the group-stage matches in Asia Cup as a “precautionary” measure with the ODI World Cup a month away.

KL Rahul will be missing the first two matches in Asia Cup 2023

Rahul, who was initially out with a hamstring injury incurred during IPL 2023, will not be travelling with the Indian team to Sri Lanka on Wednesday and will head to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru where he will work with the physios in a bid to become “fully fit” for the Super Four stage of Asia Cup. The wicketkeeper-batter will also undergo a fitness test on September 4 before a call is taken on his Sri Lanka travel.

Although Dravid confessed that he is “not too worried about it”, Rahul’s absence opens up a host of questions and selection headaches pertaining to India’s playing XI for the Asia Cup. India do have a like-for-like replacement in Ishan Kishan which supposedly should not raise a concern, but the questions pertains to his batting position in the line-up and subsequently what the rest of the batting order would look like.

With India just three days away from figuring out their XI for the opener against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Pallekele International Stadium, we look at the possible scenarios with Rahul out…


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