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KL Rahul Included in India’s World Cup Squad, No Place for Prasidh Krishna and Sanju Samson

Rahul’s fitness assessment cleared him, leaving out Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, and Sanju Samson.

In a surprising move, KL Rahul has been included in India’s World Cup squad, despite not having played any competitive cricket since May this year. Rahul, who is the first-choice wicketkeeper, has been selected following a fitness assessment at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru on September 4. This decision has raised eyebrows in the cricketing world, given Rahul’s recent injury history and lack of match practice.

Rahul, who last played an ODI in March this year, suffered a tendon injury in his right thigh during the IPL and had to undergo surgery in May. While he was initially selected in the Asia Cup squad, he was ruled out of the first two matches due to a new niggle. However, the chief selector, Ajit Agarkar, expressed confidence in Rahul’s fitness, stating, “KL is looking good. He has got over his niggle and has been training well. We feel this gives us the best balance to try and do well.”

The inclusion of Rahul means that middle-order batter Tilak Varma and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna, who were part of the current squad in Sri Lanka, have missed out on a spot in the World Cup squad. Additionally, Sanju Samson, who is a reserve player at the Asia Cup, also failed to make the cut.

Ishan Kishan has retained his place in the squad as one of the two wicketkeeper-batters, alongside Rahul. Kishan’s recent form, including a top-scoring 82 in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan on September 2, has highlighted his value to the team. However, despite Kishan’s form, the selectors have also picked Suryakumar Yadav, who has had middling ODI numbers, with an average of 24.22 in 24 innings.

India’s pace attack for the World Cup will be spearheaded by Jasprit Bumrah, with Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami, and Shardul Thakur providing additional options. Kuldeep Yadav will be the frontline wristspinner, and the squad includes three genuine allrounders in Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Hardik Pandya. Notably, the squad lacks an offspinner, which could potentially be a topic of discussion.

The deadline to submit the World Cup squad to the ICC is September 5, and teams can make changes until September 28 without needing approval from the ICC. This flexibility gives India three more ODIs against Australia after the Asia Cup to provide players like Rahul and Shreyas Iyer with more game time. India will open their World Cup campaign on October 8 against 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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