Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev has voiced his concerns over the inclusion of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in India’s squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023. While acknowledging their return from injuries as a positive development, Kapil Dev believes that their lack of match practice could be a potential issue for the team.
Rahul and Iyer, both recovering from injuries, have been named in India’s Asia Cup squad, bringing relief to India’s middle-order batting issues. Iyer is expected to bat at the No. 4 position, while Rahul will occupy the No. 5 spot in the batting order. Their inclusion is seen as a step towards solving India’s batting lineup problems.However, Kapil Dev raises concerns about the duo’s lack of match practice. Both players participated in practice matches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) as part of their rehabilitation process, but Kapil Dev highlights that these simulated games cannot replicate the challenges and dynamics of actual ODIs, especially when facing formidable bowling attacks. Kapil Dev’s sentiments are echoed by BCCI chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar, who mentioned that Rahul might miss the initial games of the Asia Cup due to a niggle from his hamstring injury.
Kapil Dev expresses his worries, saying, “Ideally every player should be tested out. The World Cup is so close but you still haven’t given the players a chance? What if they head to the World Cup and then get injured? The entire team will suffer.” He emphasizes the importance of providing players with opportunities to gain rhythm and match experience.
The former all-rounder suggests that the Asia Cup is an opportunity for Rahul and Iyer to prove their fitness and form. He suggests, “For the past two months, he [Iyer] has been stationed at the NCA in Bangalore, focusing on his recovery. It’s all come together nicely for him.” Kapil Dev believes that including players who have recovered from injuries in the Playing XI would be beneficial for India’s campaign.Kapil Dev’s concern centers on the risk of selecting players without adequate match practice for the World Cup, and he urges the team management to make wise decisions to ensure the best and fittest squad is chosen for the upcoming tournaments.