Wicketkeeper-batter K L Rahul will miss India's first two matches of the upcoming Asia Cup after failing to recover fully from a niggle.
"KL Rahul is progressing really well but will not be available for India’s first two matches – against Pakistan and Nepal – of the #AsiaCup2023: Head Coach Rahul Dravid," BCCI said on X.
Rahul, who is recovering from a minor niggle unrelated to his original thigh injury, has been working on his batting and wicketkeeping during the Indian team's ongoing preparatory camp in Alur, Bengaluru ahead of the Asia Cup.
Rahul will miss the Asia Cup match against Pakistan on September 2 and against Nepal on September 4. He will be staying back at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru for further treatment, while the rest of the Indian players leave for Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup.
"He has had a really good week with us, trained really well. He is progressing well on the route we want to take but he will be unavailable for the Kandy leg of the trip. The NCA will be looking after him for the next few days while we are travelling," head coach Rahul Dravid said on Tuesday ahead of the team's departure.
He also further pointed out that Rahul will be reassessed on September 4 on reaching Sri Lanka before a call will be taken on his participation in the remainder of the Asia Cup.
"We will reassess on the 4th (September) and take it from there. But the signs are looking good and he is progressing really well. He will be unavailable for the first two games," Dravid added.
Rahul has been out of action since May because of a thigh injury he sustained in IPL 2023. Travelling Sanju Samson could come into the original 17-member squad in place of Rahul for the first two matches but it remains to be seen if he takes over the gloves or if Ishan Kishan, who has been picked as the back-up opener, gets the nod.
Chief selector Ajit Agakar had already stated earlier this month that Rahul is unlikely to play in the first couple of games.
"Rahul, this is not his original injury, but there is a niggle, which is why Sanju (Samson) is travelling," Agarkar had said.
"We will get a report from the physio at some stage, but we all expect him (Rahul) to be fit. If not at the start, by the second or third game, he is on track."