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Asia Cup 2023: KL Rahul Passes Fitness Test, Poised to Rejoin Team India

India Tour of West Indies: Rahul & Kuldeep set for FITNESS TEST this week

KL Rahul is set to make his return to the Indian cricket team for the Asia Cup 2023 after successfully passing a fitness test. However, he will be available for selection starting from the Super 4 stage of the tournament. This significant development follows a thrilling match against arch-rivals Pakistan in the Asia Cup opener at the Pallekele International Stadium on Saturday, where his replacement, Ishan Kishan, played a remarkable innings, scoring 82 runs off 81 balls, before the game was washed out due to rain, resulting in both teams sharing a point.

Rahul had been out of action since May of this year when he suffered a hamstring injury and subsequently underwent surgery. Just days before his selection for the Asia Cup, he faced another setback as he experienced a fresh niggle while participating in match simulations and practice games at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) to prove his fitness.

Ajit Agarkar, the chief selector of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), had announced during the squad selection for the Asia Cup that Rahul’s latest injury was not a major concern for the team. He confirmed that Rahul would miss only the group-stage matches of the tournament. Rahul’s condition improved during the training camp held in Alur before the team’s departure to Sri Lanka. He underwent intensive training sessions in both batting and wicketkeeping, indicating his potential inclusion in the playing XI for the Pakistan clash. However, as a precautionary measure with the ODI World Cup a month away, he was asked to remain at the NCA.

On the day following India’s Asia Cup opener and just ahead of their second match against Nepal, reports from Rev Sportz revealed that Rahul had successfully passed the fitness test at the NCA and would soon join the Indian team in Kandy. It was also stated that he would be eligible for selection starting from the Super 4 stage.

The question of whether to include KL Rahul in the playing XI, once he is fit, or continue with the in-form Ishan Kishan has become a subject of discussion. In Rahul’s absence, Ishan was given the opportunity to play and was positioned at No. 5, a batting position he had never experienced in his ODI career before. Nevertheless, he delivered a stunning performance, scoring 82 runs. His performance, along with Hardik Pandya’s 87 runs, allowed India to make a comeback after facing a formidable bowling attack from Shaheen Afridi and Haris Rauf. This remarkable innings by Ishan has sparked a debate within the cricket community about who should be India’s preferred choice in the lineup.

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