India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, has shared the latest updates on several teammates as they intensify their preparations for the Cricket World Cup 2023.
Despite their dominant performance against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Final at the R.Premadasa Stadium, India was notably missing some key players, leaving significant uncertainties about the squad composition for the upcoming World Cup.
Addressing these concerns, Rohit Sharma expressed his confidence that the team will be in top health condition when the tournament begins. He specifically highlighted the recoveries of Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer, both of whom are well on their way to regaining full fitness well before the opening match on 8th October.
Among the injuries, Axar Patel’s stood out as the most significant. He had been battling both a wrist injury and a minor tear in his left quadriceps, causing him to miss the latter part of India’s triumphant Asia Cup campaign. Despite this setback, the skipper remains optimistic about Axar’s availability for the World Cup.
Acknowledging the challenges, Rohit Sharma stated, “It looks like maybe a week or ten days (to heal), I don’t know. We have to see how that injury progresses.” He added, “Some guys recover quickly, and I hope that’s the case with him.”
While there might be uncertainties about Axar Patel’s participation in the first couple of games against Australia at home, the team is keeping a watchful eye on his recovery and remains hopeful for his swift return.
Rohit Sharma also provided updates on the conditions of Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin. It appears that Shreyas Iyer, the talented batter, is nearly ready to return to action, with his fitness currently estimated at an impressive 99%.
Iyer had to sit out of the Asia Cup due to minor back spasms, but Rohit Sharma has received positive reports indicating that he has successfully completed most of his rehabilitation. Speaking optimistically, Rohit stated, “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.”
Furthermore, Rohit highlighted that Shreyas has demonstrated his commitment to regaining full fitness by engaging in rigorous batting and fielding sessions, spending extended hours on the ground well before the team’s arrival. Consequently, there is a strong belief within the team that Shreyas Iyer’s fitness is not a cause for concern as they prepare for upcoming challenges.
Regarding Ashwin’s status, Rohit Sharma conveyed that the versatile spin-bowling all-rounder is still very much in contention for a place in India’s Cricket World Cup squad, despite not being chosen as Axar’s replacement for the Asia Cup final.
Rohit emphasized that Washington Sundar, another talented all-rounder, was preferred for the Asia Cup due to his last-minute availability. Washington had been prepared for India’s Asian Games campaign in Hangzhou, China, making him a suitable choice.
Speaking on Ashwin’s prospects, Rohit stated, “As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in line, I have been talking to him on the phone.” He clarified the situation by saying, “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.” This indicates that Ashwin’s potential role in the upcoming World Cup remains under consideration and that the team’s decisions are communicated transparently to the players.