File photo of KL Rahul.© AFP
KL Rahul’s presence gives India’s World Cup squad “the best balance” as he has met all the fitness parameters, chief selector Ajit Agarkar said on Tuesday, clearing the air of uncertainty surrounding the wicketkeeper-batter. Rahul last played for India in an ODI against Australia at Chennai earlier this march. Agarkar expressed satisfaction over the fitness levels of Rahul and said the 31-year-old has overcome his niggle that delayed his comeback in the ongoing Asia Cup. “KL (Rahul) is looking good. We feel this gives us the best balance to try and do well. KL was part of the camp in Bangalore, and he looked really good there and has got over his niggle.
“He played a couple of games over the last two days (at NCA). He kept for 50 overs and batted for around 50 overs too, so we’re happy to have him,” said Agarkar after announcing India’s World Cup-bound 15-member squad in the presence of captain Rohit Sharma.
Earlier, Rahul was included in India’s Asia Cup squad but he missed the league stage matches after picking up a fresh niggle that mandated him to go through some more rounds of fitness drills at the NCA.
Ishan Kishan has also been named in the squad and Agarkar said having two excellent wicketkeeper batters will only serve the squad well.
“It’s a good headache to have. Kishan played well recently, and he plays well at the top. KL’s record in ODIs is brilliant.
“We have two good (wicketkeeper-batter) options. We can pick and choose between the two who will fight for a spot in the team,” said Agarkar.
Kishan excelled in the three ODIs against the West Indies recently and then played a mature 82 while batting at No. 5 against Pakistan in the Asia Cup to rescue India from a wobbly position.
Rohit said the team management will certainly explore the possibility of including both Rahul and Kishan in the 11.
Rohit, though, added that the call will be taken depending on the opposition, condition and the fitness levels.
“There will be possibilities. Everyone is available and fit to play. The selection depends on form and the opposition. It’s also about how the runs are scored.
“Kishan, how he played in the first game (in the Asia Cup), was brilliant. Given the situation, he did very well. So, it depends on fitness and situation,” said Rohit.
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