Playing K L Rahul in Asia Cup would be asking for too much from him: Ravi Shastri

05:52 PM Aug 16, 2023 | PTI |

Former India head coach Ravi Shastri would not include K L Rahul in the playing eleven for the Asia Cup as it would be asking for ”too much” from a player who has not played competitive cricket for close to four months.


Both Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who are undergoing injury rehabilitation at the NCA in Bengaluru, are expected to regain full fitness before the Asia Cup starting August 31.

”When you are talking of a player who has not played and is recovering from injury. To think of him in the playing eleven of Asia Cup, you are asking little too much of the player himself.

”And then you are talking keeping when the guy has come from a knee injury, the range of movement, things like (that). That is a no, no straight,” Shastri told Star Sports in a panel discussion referring to Rahul.

He also warned against rushing back players from injuries.


”You can’t rush players back from injuries. You did that with Jasprit Bumrah, not once, twice but thrice and he has been out for 14 months now.” In place of Rahul, Shastri would like to see rookie batter Tilak Varma in the middle order. He wants to see three left-handers in the top-seven, including Ravindra Jadeja.

”There are three other positions where I think two left-handers have to come in. Now, this is where the selectors’ role comes in because they are watching. They know who’s the guy who’s hot. If Tilak Varma is hot, bring him in. If you think (Yashasvi) Jaiswal is hot, bring him in.

”I am very impressed with Tilak and if I want a left-hander, I would look in that direction. The way he has got his runs over the last three months, whether in the IPL or India, he has ticked all the boxes,” said Shastri.

Shastri also backed Ishan Kishan to come good.

”Including Jaddu (Jadeja), there should be three left-handers in the top seven. Ishan Kishan has been keeping for the last 15 months. Why go somewhere else? ”If you have persisted with Ishan Kishan for the last six to eight months, and he’s going to keep wickets, he comes in, in any case. But, get two left-handers,” he said.

Justifying his point further, Shastri remembered the 2019 World Cup semifinal loss to New Zealand.

”People don’t give credit what Shikhar Dhawan deserves. That guy was an amazing player. When we lost that World Cup semifinal, he was missed. A left-hander at the top of the order, as opposed to three right-handers, makes a huge difference when the ball is swinging away (swinging in for the right handers),” he added.


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