India’s Asia Cup-bound cricket team begins a rigorous conditioning camp in Bengaluru. Focus on fitness, team bonding, and injury prevention. KL Rahul’s fitness a concern. Shreyas Iyer returns strong. World Cup preparation intensifies.
The Indian cricket team’s Asia Cup-bound players have begun their preparations in earnest as they gather in Bengaluru for a six-day conditioning camp. The camp, which is set to begin on Thursday at the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s (KSCA) Three Ovals campus in Alur, aims to focus on fitness assessment and team bonding ahead of the final stages of World Cup preparation.
Fifteen out of the 18 players have already arrived for the camp, with Sanju Samson, Jasprit Bumrah, and Prasidh Krishna expected to join the camp on Thursday after their travel from Dublin. The opening day will involve fitness assessments and indoor sessions for the players. The subsequent days will see the players split into batches for outdoor conditioning and skill-based programs.
Notably, senior players who did not participate in the recent T20Is in the Caribbean have undergone personalized fitness and diet plans over the past two weeks. This approach has been adopted to manage player workloads and prevent injuries, considering the series of setbacks experienced by key players in recent years.
All eyes are on KL Rahul’s fitness, who has been conditionally cleared for the Asia Cup. Although he has recuperated from a thigh injury and subsequent rehabilitation, Rahul’s participation is in question due to a minor niggle. Chief selector Ajit Agarkar confirmed this development during the squad announcement press conference.
The medical team at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) has closely monitored Rahul’s workload, with a particular focus on his wicketkeeping load, after he reported soreness following a practice match organized by the NCA last week.
On a positive note, Shreyas Iyer is fully fit and ready to participate. The conditioning camp marks his return to the senior team setup after his last appearance during the home Test series against Australia in March. Iyer has showcased good form during practice matches and net sessions against the India A squad, currently attending a skill-based camp for emerging players at the NCA.
The Indian team is scheduled to depart for Colombo from Bengaluru on August 30. Their campaign in the Asia Cup commences with a high-stakes match against Pakistan in Pallekele on September 2. Should India progress to the final, they can play up to six matches in the tournament. Following the Asia Cup, the team will play three ODIs at home against Australia before embarking on their World Cup journey.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also revealed the warm-up fixtures for the World Cup. India is slated to face England and Netherlands on September 30 and October 3, respectively, before heading to Chennai for their tournament opener against Australia on October 8.