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In a Breaking Development, KL Rahul and Shardul Thakur Secure Spots in India’s World Cup Squad

World Cup

Despite not having played any competitive cricket since May of this year, KL Rahul was selected for India’s ODI World Cup team. Rahul, who is India’s preferred wicketkeeper-batter in this format, recently passed a fitness test at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, and is now getting ready to fly to Sri Lanka for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.

Tilak Varma, a middle-order hitter, and Prasidh Krishna, a fast bowler, were the two players from the present team of 17 in Sri Lanka who were left out, along with Sanju Samson, a reserve at the Asia Cup.

The squad’s other wicketkeeper-batter, Ishan Kishan, has kept his spot. In India’s canceled September 2 Asia Cup opener against Pakistan in Pallekele, Kishan demonstrated his versatility by leading the way with 82, his fourth consecutive ODI half-century.

The selectors chose Suryakumar Yadav in the 15 despite the fact that Kishan’s performance made it possible for him to be used as a middle-order specialist. Suryakumar, a T20 giant, has averaged 24.22 in ODIs with two half-centuries in 24 innings and has admitted that he struggles in the 50-over format.

Rahul tore a tendon in his right thigh during the IPL and underwent surgery in May. He last played in an ODI in March of this year. After significant rehabilitation at the NCA, he was chosen for the Asia Cup squad. However, he was later forced to withdraw from the first two games after developing a new ailment.

In a news conference, India’s chief selector Ajit Agarkar said, “We had a couple of fitness issues that we had to look at, but all three [Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, and Shreyas Iyer] who had long-term injuries have come through.” “KL is in good shape. This, in our opinion, gives us the best chance to try and succeed. He participated in the Bangalore camp with KL and looked fantastic there after getting over his niggle. Over the previous two days, he engaged in a few games. He appears to be in good shape, and we’re glad to have him. I believe he kept for around 50 overs and also batted for about 50 overs.

In addition to saying that India was treating Rahul with a “slightly more cautious approach” last week, Rahul Dravid had expressed his delight with Rahul’s rehabilitation at the time. Rahul has since been working with head physio Nitin Patel at the NCA, and on Monday he participated in a match simulation exercise to gauge his level of preparation.

Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Shardul Thakur, along with fast-bowling all-rounders, will be part of the pace attack under Bumrah’s direction. Kuldeep Yadav is the starting wristspinner, and Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja are the all-arounders for left-arm spin bowling. There isn’t an offspinner expert on the team.

Given that both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel spin the ball into left-handers, there will undoubtedly be arguments, according to Agarkar. “However, both give us batting depth. The ball is taken away by Kuldeep. Perhaps an offspinner would be perfect in a 50-over cricket match, but this strikes the finest balance. We’re content with the players we have because seamers tend to bowl a lot more in ODIs than in T20 cricket, and maybe you’re under a little more pressure if you don’t have an offie.

While September 5 is the cutoff date for countries to submit their World Cup rosters to the ICC, alterations can be made up until September 28 without ICC approval. After the Asia Cup, India will play Australia in three more one-day internationals, giving guys like Rahul and Iyer additional game time. On October 8, India’s World Cup campaign gets underway when they face Australia in Chennai.

India’s World Cup squad

Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj

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