Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul will open India’s innings in the first T20 International against England at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Friday with Shikhar Dhawan starting on the bench as reserve opener, confirmed India skipper Virat Kohli. Credit . Image Source: IANS News
Bengaluru, Aug 24 : As India’s Asia Cup-bound players begin their six-day conditioning camp in the city ahead of the six-team event, how wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul shapes up from a fitness perspective will be keenly witnessed.
During the Asia Cup squad announcement press conference in New Delhi on Monday, chief selector Ajit Agarkar said Rahul had recovered from a right thigh injury at the NCA but picked up a niggle unrelated to the original injury which could keep him out of the initial phase of the Asia Cup.
As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the NCA’s medical team is believed to be happy with Rahul’s batting workload but is carefully monitoring his wicketkeeping load.
“He is understood to have complained of soreness after one of the practice matches organised by the NCA last week,” it said.
The report added that the six-day camp, which will be held at the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s (KSCA) Three Ovals campus in Alur, will have fitness as a key focus area.
“The camp also aims to serve as an exercise in team bonding before the focus shifts to the final stages of World Cup preparation,” it added.
On Thursday, 15 out of 18 Asia Cup-bound players will be tested on fitness parameters, with Sanju Samson, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna set to land in Bengaluru late on Thursday night after the T20I series against Ireland finished on Wednesday.
It was also illustrated by premier batter Virat Kohli posting on social media that his yo-yo test score was 17.2. From Friday, players will be divided into phases for outdoor conditioning and skill-based programmes.
The report added that the players, who didn’t take part in the T20Is in the Caribbean, were given personalised fitness and diet plans over the past two weeks.
“While this practice isn’t unique, India have been especially mindful of workloads keeping in mind the slew of injuries to key players over the past couple of years,” it said.
It further said Shreyas Iyer, who has fully recovered from a back injury sustained earlier this year, is pulling up well after playing in both practice games and is also batting against net bowlers from the India A squad, who are attending a skill-based camp for emerging players at the NCA.
India is expected to leave for Colombo on August 30 from Bengaluru to participate in the Asia Cup. They will open their campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on September 2, before playing Nepal on September 4. Both of India’s Group A matches will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
The top two sides from Groups A and B will progress to the Super Fours, where they will play three more games at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, which will also host the final on September 17.