NEW DELHI (Agencies): Indian wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul has been ruled out of group stage matches of the upcoming ACC Men’s Asia Cup, against arch-rivals Pakistan and Nepal in Pallekele, as he failed to achieve full fitness.
India’s head coach Rahul Dravid during India’s pre-departure press interaction in Bengaluru confirmed that KL Rahul is “progressing really well” however he won’t be ready to participate in the games against Pakistan and Nepal.
The 31-year-old Rahul has not played any competitive cricket since he was injured during the Indian Premier League in April-May. He has developed an injury niggle unrelated to the original thigh problem. “KL has had a good week here [at India’s conditioning camp] with us. Trained well and done a lot of things. He’s progressing really well on the route that we want to take. But he will be unavailable for the Kandy leg of the trip,” Dravid said.
“The NCA [National Cricket Academy] will be looking after him for the next few days while we are travelling. We will reassess on September 4 and take it from there. But signs are looking good and he’s progressing really well.” KL Rahul will hopefully be fit in time for the Super 4 stage games of the Asia Cup, meanwhile, Ishan Kishan is expected to keep wickets in the group stage matches in Rahul’s absence. India will kick off their Asia Cup with the much-anticipated clash against Pakistan on September 2 in Kandy.
The arch-rivals Pakistan and India will come face to face again on September 10 in Colombo if both manage to qualify for the Super 4s. India’s Squad : Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna. Travelling reserve: Sanju Samson.