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Sep 18 – India skipper Rohit Sharma has delivered an update on various teammates as the team ramps up preparations for the Cricket World Cup 2023. He emphasised his strong belief that the team will be in peak physical form in the run-up to the competition, presenting an upbeat outlook for their campaign.
While they were too strong for Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Final at R.Premadasa Stadium, they were missing a number of crucial players. Furthermore, the composition of the team for the 2018 home World Cup campaign is yet to be determined.
To clarify, the team captain is certain that all-rounder Axar Patel and batter Shreyas Iyer would be fully recovered in time for their World Cup opening on October 8. He did, however, admit that the spin-bowling all-rounder would be unavailable for a section of the World Cup warm-up series against Australia.
With a wrist injury and a small rupture in his left quadricep, Axar’s injuries are the worst in the group, and he will miss the tail end of India’s triumphant campaign.
“It looks like maybe a week or ten days (to heal), I don’t know. We have to see how that injury progresses. Some guys recover quickly, and I hope that’s the case with him,” Rohit quoted after the 10 wicket win against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 Final.
“I am not sure whether he will be able to play the first two games against Australia at home. But we will wait and see,” he added
Rohit also provided updates on Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin, with the former being deemed “99% fit” to play.
Iyer was forced to miss the Asia Cup due to mild back spasms, but Rohit has been assured that the important batter has nearly completed his recuperation.
“Shreyas was not available for (the final) because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 per cent as of now.
But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours (as part of his build-up to full fitness), and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don’t think it is a worry for us,” said Rohit.
In terms of Ashwin, Rohit remarked that despite not getting called up for the Asia Cup final as Axar’s substitute, the veteran spinner is still in contention for a berth in the World Cup squad.
Rohit emphasised that fellow all-rounder Washington Sundar was preferred due to his late availability, having been prepared for India’s Asian Games performance in Hangzhou, China.
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in line, I have been talking to him on the phone,” Rohit reiterated. “The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us.
“He (Washington) was cricket-fit because he was part of the Asian Games camp (in Bengaluru). I have been very clear with players about their roles. Everyone is in the loop,” he said.