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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

KL Rahul named in India’s World Cup squad after injury

Rahul will be in contention along with fellow gloveman Ishan Kishan, a left-hander who hit a defiant 82 against Pakistan at the ongoing Asia Cup.

Wicketkeeper KL Rahul was named in India’s squad Tuesday for the one-day World Cup but skipper Rohit Sharma was coy about his place in the XI after months sidelined by injury.

Rahul will be in contention along with fellow gloveman Ishan Kishan, a left-hander who hit a defiant 82 against Pakistan at the ongoing Asia Cup.

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“We have said earlier that problems like these are good, that boys are fighting for spots,” Rohit told reporters in Kandy as World Cup hosts India named their squad.

“We will have to see who is in form and who is the opposition to face. All this will be calculated and the best XI will be picked.”

The 31-year-old Rahul has not played any competitive cricket since he was injured during the Indian Premier League in May.

He was picked in the Asia Cup squad for Sri Lanka but missed the opening two matches with a niggle unrelated to his original thigh injury.

The World Cup starts on October 5 and Rohit did not rule out the possibility of Rahul and Ishan — who have both topped the batting order — playing together.

“As long as everyone’s available and fit to play, the selection depends on the opposition we play, current form, players who have done well under pressure, those things do matter,” said Rohit.

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“For Ishan’s confidence the last match he played was brilliant — under pressure, batting at number five for the first time, (being a) left-hander gives us another dimension.”

Rahul’s return is “a good headache to have”, chief selector Ajit Agarkar said.

“You see KL’s record in one-day cricket is fantastic. So when he comes there will be a conversation.”

The 50-over World Cup takes place across 12 venues in India.

Cricket-mad India have suffered a world title drought since the 2013 Champions Trophy and last won an ODI World Cup in 2011 on home soil.

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