Tilak called up, Iyer and Rahul return from injuries in India’s Asia Cup squad | Crickit
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Tilak Varma called up, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul return from injuries in India's Asia Cup 2023 squad

Aug 21, 2023 02:07 PM IST

The BCCI on Sunday announced a 17-member squad for the Asia Cup 2023, where India kickstart their campaign against Pakistan on September 2.

BCCI's chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Monday announced a 17-member Indian squad for the upcoming 2023 Asia Cup, with both KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer making their return to the team from respective injuries. Both Rahul and Shreyas are back for the first time since March earlier this year, while Tilak Varma earned his ODI call-up on the back on an impressive show in the white-ball tour of West Indies.

India's KL Rahul in action during ODI series against Australia in March 2023(PTI)
India's KL Rahul in action during ODI series against Australia in March 2023(PTI)

Bolstering the pace attack is Jasprit Bumrah, who also makes a comeback to the ODI format after an injury-forced absence of over a year; he is joined by the returning Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj both of whom were rested during India's recent fifty-over series against West Indies.

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Rahul and Iyer have been nursing their injuries for several weeks at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, and last week took part in match-simulation exrecises and played practice matches as well to prove their fitness for the entire period of a 50-over game. Rahul has not been part of action since suffering for a hamstring injury during IPL 2023 while Iyer has been on the sidelines since Australia's tour of India in March.

Bumrah, meanwhile, marked his international comeback last week during the T20I series against Ireland, where he is also leading the team. Picking four wickets in two games, Bumrah has been the most economical bowler for the side in the series so far, as India took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series on Sunday night.

Experienced legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal has missed the cut for the continental event as the selectors preferred Kuldeep Yadav as the wrist-spinning option along with two finger-spinning all-rounders in Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. This also implies that Ravinchnadran Ashwin, who suddenly found himself in the midst of Asia Cup discussion ahead of the selection meeting on Monday, has been excluded as well.

Ishan Kishan has been picked as the second wicketkeeper to Rahul ahead of Sanju Samson owing to his left-handed option and the flexibility he might offer to the batting line-up. As of now, he has been picked as the reserve opener, while Samson will travel with the squad as a reserve player.

Rohit Sharma continues to lead the Indian team with Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, and Ishan Kishan among the top-order, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya retained his role as a vice-captain amid reports that Bumrah could likely replace him.

Team India will kickstart their Asia Cup 2023 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2. Alongside India and Pakistan, Nepal form Group A in the tournament. India will play all of their matches in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Full squad: Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Shami, Siraj, Kuldeep, Prasidh Krishna

Backup - Sanju Samson

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