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Recovering Rahul unavailable for first two games of Asia Cup .

Recovering Rahul unavailable for first two games of Asia Cup .

Rahul will be monitored at the NCA. 

KL Rahul Dravid, India’s head coach, revealed on Tuesday (August 29) that he will be absent for the first two games of the 2023 Asia Cup. Rahul, who has been on the mend following a protracted injury layoff, is developing well, according to Dravid, but will not be going with the squad to Sri Lanka for the group games.

Rahul has been on the sidelines since being hurt during the IPL this year, but he recovered in time to be named to India’s squad for the Asia Cup. However, chief selector Ajit Agarkar has previously said that the 31-year-old might miss at least the first game of the tournament. Rahul batted without apparent pain in India’s recent skills camp at Alur and had begun keeping responsibilities as well, but a careful approach has been taken.

India are playing Pakistan in their first game on Saturday (September 2) in Pallekele before taking on Nepal in the other group fixture on Monday. According to Dravid, a call on Rahul’s participation in the Super Fours, should India qualify, will be taken on September 4. While Ishan Kishan is already in the squad as the backup wicketkeeper-batter, Sanju Samson is also present as a travelling reserve.

“He has had a really good week with us, he has trained really well, he is progressing well on the route we want to take, but he will be unavailable for the Kandy leg of the trip,” Dravid added. “The NCA will look after him for the next few days while we are on the road.” We’ll review on the 4th and go from there. But the signals are encouraging, and he is making excellent progress.”

Dravid also brushed aside suggestions that Rahul might be underprepared for the marquee event in October in India. “The way we are looking at it is actually just two less games that he is going to miss,” he remarked. “Both him and Shreyas are in the same boat. He is really batting well, keeping well, he is doing everything, it’s just a slightly more cautious approach leading into the World Cup.

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