After receiving a clearance certificate from the National Cricket Academy, KL Rahul is likely to be included in India’s 15-member provisional World Cup squad which will be announced today. Rahul has been recovering after a thigh surgery at the NCA, Bengaluru and he is expected to have one final fitness drill before joining the rest of the Indian side in Sri Lanka. 

NCA trainers and team management have been convinced about Rahul’s fitness after watching him extensively at the nets and in the match simulation process, reported PTI. 

The Indian World Cup squad was expected to be announce on September 4 ahead of the cut off date on September 5 but the announcement has been preponed by a day with KL Rahul receiving the fitness clearance. 

Rahul, who is expected to keep wickets for India, is likely to take back his number 5 spot while Ishan Kishan could be kept in the side as the second wicket-keeper batter, meaning Sanju Samson misses out for a place in the World Cup squad. 

According to a PTI report, Chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar had reached Pallekele on Saturday, and it is understood that he held discussions with captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid post India’s match against Pakistan, which was abandoned due to rain.

 

 

 

Suryakumar Yadav too has found a place in the squad despite his less than satisfactory outings in the ODIs.

Suryakumar could not get going in the ODIs against West Indies (July-August), making just 78 runs from three matches averaging 26.

However, the team management felt that the Mumbaikar can add further meat to the middle-order.

In batting apart from skipper Rohit, players like Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer were automatic picks. Hence, Tilak Varma will have to sit out for the moment.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami will handle the pace department along with all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur.

So, Prasidh Krishna, who is part of the India squad for the Asia Cup, will not be featured in the World Cup squad.

The spin unit will be led by left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who has been in fine fettle this year.

Kuldeep is India’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs in 2023, taking 22 wickets in 11 matches. Kuldeep and Ravindra Jadeja will be India’s two first-choice spinners.

This will be the second World Cup for Kuldeep as he had played 7 matches for India in the 2019 World Cup, picking up 6 wickets in England.

The selectors and the management thought deeply about the third spinner and zeroed in on left-arm spinner Axar Patel, whom they thought will also give a bit more depth in batting if needed.

In that context, veterans R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal, who had plucked 12 wickets from 8 matches in the 2019 World Cup, will miss the cut.

India’s provisional squad for World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.

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Updated: 03 Sep 2023, 09:46 AM IST

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