Rahul is nearing full fitness and is expected to be named to the World Cup squad.

KL Rahul has been making good progress toward full fitness.

The World Cup roster will, predictably, be simple, but there will be some debate over KL Rahul. The fitness of the wicketkeeper-batsman, who was left at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for rehabilitation and recovery while the Indian team traveled to Sri Lanka, will be assessed. Despite being selected for the Asia Cup, he was instructed to demonstrate his batting and keeping skills.

According to reports, Rahul has met these requirements. On September 1, he batted for 38 overs and kept wickets for the entire 50 overs in a match. He was unable to squat while keeping due to thigh surgery, but he is believed to have demonstrated that he can do so without significant discomfort.

Likewise, he is said to have played well in another game on Monday. “He’s okay,” said the source, indicating that Rahul is ready to return to international action, which he hasn’t been able to do since March of this year.

While Rahul is likely to be selected, he may not be rushed to Sri Lanka to join the squad right away. Rohit Sharma had stated that he would join the team in Sri Lanka after the second game on Monday, but his arrival may be delayed slightly. Sanju Samson, who had traveled to Lanka as a reserve in the 18-man squad, will miss out due to Rahul’s availability.

The next crucial decision for the selectors is whether to go with specialist Prasidh Krishna or all-rounder Shardul Thakur. Indications are that the team is looking for runs lower in the order, which will benefit the latter. Tilak Varma, who was unexpectedly selected for the Asia Cup, is likely to be dropped from the current squad.

Naturally, it will be a provisional squad, as each cricket board must announce their squad by September 5, just one month before the World Cup begins. Boards, however, have until September 28 to make changes to the squad. It is likely that a few reserve players will be included, and Indian selectors may make a few changes following the three ODI series against Australia on September 22, 24, and 27.

India’s likely World Cup squad of 15:

Hardik Pandya (vc), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and Mohammed Siraj.

The squad will be revealed on Tuesday (September 5) at 1.30 p.m.