As the 2023 Asia Cup approaches, Team India is grappling with injury setbacks to key batters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer.
According to sources within the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), both players are unlikely to make it to the tournament due to concerns over their readiness for competitive cricket after recovering from injuries.
While their absence from the Asia Cup is confirmed, there is strong consideration for their inclusion in the subsequent three-match ODI series against Australia.
Shreyas Iyer, the talented right-handed batter, chose to undergo back surgery following persistent injury troubles. His last appearance was during the Border-Gavaskar series, and unfortunately, he missed the entire 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) season. During his absence, Nitish Rana stepped up to lead the franchise.
Similarly, KL Rahul sustained his injury midway through the 2023 IPL season while representing the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG). Seeking treatment in England, he has resumed net practice, but the general belief behind the scenes is that he is not yet fully ready for competitive cricket.
On a positive note, there is a slight chance for Prasidh Krishna to feature in the 2023 Asia Cup. The right-arm pacer, who recently made it to the three-match T20I series against Ireland, has recovered from a long-term injury that forced him to miss the IPL for the Rajasthan Royals (RR). His addition would certainly strengthen India’s bowling attack.
The absence of key players like Iyer, Rahul, and Rishabh Pant has caused trouble for India’s middle-order, particularly with Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson struggling to find consistency. However, Ishan Kishan has made a strong impression at the top of the order, raising the possibility of one of the opening batters slotting down to the middle order.
To address this batting crisis, the team management is organizing a preparatory camp at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore from August 24 to 29 before departing for Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup. They are considering the option of having Shubman Gill at No. 4, which would provide a left-hand-right-hand pairing at the top with Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan.
At end, Team India faces a tough task of resolving its batting crisis ahead of the 2023 Asia Cup. The absence of key batters KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer is a significant blow, but the team is exploring various options to stabilize the middle-order and strengthen the bowling attack.