COLOMBO: India captain Rohit Sharma has provided an update on several teammates as the team step up their Cricket World Cup 2023 preparations. He expressed strong confidence that the team will be in prime health condition leading up to the tournament, providing an optimistic outlook for their campaign.
While too strong for Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Final at the R.Premadasa Stadium, but they were missing several key players. Additionally, the team's composition for the upcoming home World Cup campaign has yet to be determined.
Providing clarity, the team captain is optimistic about the complete recovery of all-rounder Axar Patel and batter Shreyas Iyer before their World Cup opener on October 8. However, he acknowledged that the spin-bowling all-rounder will be unavailable for a portion of their World Cup lead-in series against Australia.
Nursing both a wrist injury and a minor tear in his left quadricep, Axar's injuries are the team's worst across the group, missing the backend of India's victorious 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 was quoted as saying after India's ten-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 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 ruled "99% fit" for action.
Iyer was kept out of Asia Cup action with minor back spasms, though Rohit has been informed the key batter has all but completed his rehabilitation.
"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.
As for Ashwin, Rohit stated the veteran spinner is still in the running for a spot in World Cup squad, in spite of not being called up for the Asia Cup final as Axar's replacement.
Rohit stressed fellow all-rounder Washington Sundar was favoured given his availability at the 11th hour, having been readied for India's Asian Games effort 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.