India’s Asia-Cup-bound squad have started reaching Bengaluru for a 6-day conditioning camp that starts on Thursday at the Karnataka State Cricket Association’s campus here, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.
The camp intends to act as a team-building exercise before the focus moves to the final stages of World Cup preparation, with players’ fitness levels—particularly those who just returned from the Caribbean—being a significant focus area.
Many players will undergo fitness assessments followed by a few indoor sessions on the opening day at the KSCA’s Three Ovals campus in Alur, Bengaluru. For the skill-based and outdoor conditioning regimens, athletes will be divided into batches starting on Friday.
It will be really interesting to see how India opener KL Rahul pulls up. Though Rahul have picked up a minor niggle, making him doubtful for at least the first two Asia Cup games even though he has fully recovered from a thigh ailment for which he underwent surgery and extensive rehabilitation at the NCA. The news was confirmed by India chief selector Ajit Agarkar at the press conference to announce the squads on Monday.
Rahul picked up a niggle unrelated to his previous injury and will be gradually eased back into the India setup.
India’s Chairperson of the Senior Men’s Selection Committee, Ajit Agarkar said during the press conference following the team release, “Shreyas has been declared as completely fit. Rahul’s been suffering from a niggle over the last few days, which is unrelated to his original injury. That’s why Sanju [Samson] is travelling at the moment.“But at some stage, we’re all expecting him to be fit. If not at the start of the Asia Cup, maybe the second or the third game.”As reported by ESPNcricinfo, Rahul’s batting workload is thought to have pleased the NCA medical staff, but they are closely watching his wicketkeeping workload; he is thought to have complained of soreness following one of the practice matches the NCA hosted last week.Meanwhile, the strong contender for the fourth position in the batting order, Shreyas Iyer, is believed to be fully fit and ready to go. Iyer’s back troubles saw him miss cricketing action since March.Iyer’s return to the national side is extremely good news for Men in Blue, who are looking towards him and Rahul to provide stability to the team’s middle order, which was filled by likes of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Axar Patel, Sanju Samson etc in their absence. He will be looking to fill up the number four position.
At number four, Iyer has played 20 innings, scoring 805 runs at an average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.37. He has scored two centuries and five half-centuries at that spot, with the best score of 113*.
Team India is expected to leave for Colombo from Bengaluru on August 30. India will open their Asia Cup 2023 campaign against arch-rival Pakistan in Pallekele, Sri Lanka on September 2. (ANI)