Viral Footage Reveals BCCI’s Stand On Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul’s Return To Indian Squad For Asia Cup 2023

A recent Instagram story by Rishabh Pant sent waves of excitement through social media on Monday, showcasing exclusive footage from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. The video featured the injured batting duo of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer participating in a match simulation, raising hopes of their potential return to the Indian cricket team just days before the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee finalizes the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup.

The intriguing video, which emerged shortly after India’s head coach Rahul Dravid hinted at the duo’s comeback for the Asia Cup, offered a glimpse into the NCA’s training ground. In the footage, KL Rahul, who recently underwent thigh surgery, and Shreyas Iyer, recovering from a lower-back stress fracture, batted together in the sweltering Bengaluru heat during a practice match. However, details about whether Rahul also took on the role of a wicketkeeper for the full 50 overs in the simulation remain undisclosed.

The snippet shared by Pant showed Shreyas Iyer executing a stylish cover drive against a fast bowler, with KL Rahul occupying the non-striker’s end. According to reports by PTI, the selection committee will only consider adding Rahul and Iyer to the squad if they can demonstrate their fitness and endurance through a complete 50-over game simulation. This entails proving not just their batting fitness but also Rahul’s ability to keep wickets for the entire duration and Iyer’s aptitude for fielding throughout the match.

Despite the tight-lipped stance of NCA officials concerning the fitness status of the duo, the selection committee seems inclined to grant Rahul and Iyer more time to fully establish their fitness ahead of the Asia Cup, slated to begin on August 31. India’s first match in the tournament is scheduled for September 2 against Sri Lanka. However, a critical decision looms, as the selectors are expected to convene in Mumbai in the coming week to announce the final 15 for the Asia Cup.

A BCCI source, speaking to PTI, disclosed that while the NCA might eventually deem Rahul and Iyer fit for the tournament, the selectors remain cautious about the potential risks. With both players having been out of action since June, the prospect of entering a high-stakes tournament, particularly against arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening match, raises concerns about their readiness and ability to withstand the demands of the game.

“Enduring 50 overs in the Sri Lankan heat would take a toll, and the NCA can only certify them fit if they can effectively handle the responsibilities of keeping wickets and fielding without discomfort. Additionally, given their absence from competitive cricket and the pressure of the first international game against Pakistan, the selectors are deliberating the implications of their inclusion. Time, however, remains a decisive factor,” explained a BCCI source closely monitoring the unfolding developments.

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