ODI World Cup Hopefuls: India’s key players on path to fitness

Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant show signs of recovery from their injuries

| Updated: 21 July, 2023 11:12 pm IST
Jasprit Bumrah is key to India's success (Photo Courtesy Instagram jaspritb1)

NEW DELHI: With India all set to host the cricket World Cup later this year, there is some good news for the fans as five key players are getting back into action following a spate on the sidelines due to injuries.

Fast bowlers, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna, are gearing up for action as they showcase their full intensity in the nets and prepare to participate in practice matches organised by the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

According to a recent medical and fitness update by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday, the duo’s progress has pleased the BCCI medical team, which will make a final decision on their inclusion after assessing their performance in the practice games.

“The BCCI medical team is pleased with their progress and will make a final decision after assessing them following the practice games,” the statement added.

Prasidh Krishna (Photo Courtesy Instagram @skiddyy)

 

On the batting front, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have resumed their net sessions and are undergoing strength and fitness drills. As the days progress, the intensity of their training will be ramped up in preparation for their potential return to the squad.

Rishabh Pant, who suffered a serious car crash in December, is also showing signs of recovery. The wicketkeeper-batter has commenced batting and keeping in the nets and is diligently following a comprehensive fitness programme that includes strength training, flexibility exercises, and running.

Rishabh Pant (Image Courtesy Instagram @rishabpant)

 

The availability of these five players will hold great importance for India’s preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to kick off on October 5.

Jasprit Bumrah, the spearhead of India’s pace attack, has been out of action due to a back injury since September 2022. He made a brief comeback for the home T20I series against Australia but missed the 20-over Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.

Shreyas Iyer, who emerged as India’s top-scorer across formats in 2022, suffered an injury during the fourth Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test against Australia in March. He underwent a successful back surgery in April, and his availability for the World Cup will be crucial for India’s middle-order strength and prowess against spin bowling.

Shreyas Iyer (Image Courtesy Twitter @ShreyasIyer15)

 

KL Rahul’s fitness has also been a concern since he sustained an injury while leading the Lucknow Super Giants during the Indian Premier League (IPL) in May. In the absence of Rishabh Pant, Rahul has been doubling up as both a batter and a wicketkeeper for India in ODIs, making his recovery crucial for India’s wicketkeeping options.

KL Rahul (Image Courtesy Twitter @klrahul)

 

As the Men in Blue focus on the fitness of their key players, the 50-over Asia Cup, beginning on August 30 in Pakistan, looms ahead, adding pressure to finalise the squad.

India will also be hopeful for Prasidh Krishna’s return to bolster their pace bowling department. The tall fast bowler has been impressive in the limited opportunities he has had, picking up 25 wickets in just 14 ODI matches. However, a stress fracture has kept him out of action since August 2022, making his recovery timeline a crucial factor for India’s bowling strategy.

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