Ahead of the Asia Cup 2023, India announced its squad for the tournament on August 22 which featured the inclusion of players like Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul who have been out of action due to injury. Despite many criticisms of the inclusion of the injured players, Kapil Dev supports the selection of players.
Kapil Dev backs Rahul and Iyer’s inclusion in India’s Asia Cup squad
The selection of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer on the team could be a solution for the team’s middle-order issues. With Shreyas Iyer to bat at 4 and KL Rahul at 5 the batting line-up will be covering the problems, with Hardik Pandya batting at 6 and Ravindra Jadeja playing at 7. With Jasprit Bumrah’s return to the squad India’s Asia Cup Squad playing 11 will be covered on all aspects.
The only problem is the players Rahul and Iyer are returning to action with a lack of match practice which is marked by former cricketer Kapil Dev.
Although they have participated in the practice matches at NCA, Bengaluru, it will be not enough with the experience of playing an actual ODI match. With Bowlers like Shaheen Afridi, Haris, and Naseem Shah, the practice match at NCA will not be enough.
The BCCI selector’s chairman Ajit Agarkar informed that KL Rahul will be resting for the first two matches in the tournament due to the niggle he picked up after his recovery from injury. But he will be eventually in the main squad and Kapil Dev backs the players.
He said, “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. Here, at least they will get a chance to bat or bowl a little and get some rhythm going.”
He also said it would be worse if the players got injured during the World Cup and it will be unfair for them to miss their place in the squad.
“Worst case scenario, if the guys get injured again during the World Cup, it will be unfair to the players who will miss out on being part of the squad. The injured players who have returned need to be given a chance.
If they are fit, then can play in the World Cup. There is no shortage of talent, but if they are not fit, India will have a chance to make changes to the World Cup squad right away.”
Shreyas had scored 805 runs with an average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.37 batting at No.4. KL Rahul scored 742 runs with an average of 53 and a strike rate of 99.33. He is confident on these players and they will be likely part of the squad for the World Cup.
“You have a wonderful opportunity to create a team for the World Cup and the Asia Cup is a fine platform. I want these players to go and express themselves. But if there is any sort of question mark, they don’t need to be around.”
“If you do not give them a chance, it will be unfair to not just the players but also the selectors. I am aware that the World Cup is taking place in India but you need to pick the best and fittest team,” added Kapil Dev.
Kapil Dev thinks that Asia Cup will be a platform for the World Cup which is set to start on October 5. India won the World Cup title two times in 1983 and 2011. India will be having their first World Cup match against Australia on October 8 at MA Chidambaram Stadium.