Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has confirmed that keeper-batter KL Rahul will be unavailable for their first Asia Cup 2023 game against Pakistan on Saturday (September 2nd). The former Indian captain confirmed the same during a press conference on Tuesday.
Rahul suffered a serious thigh injury while fielding for the Lucknow Super Giants during the IPL 2023 game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Hence, the 31-year-old had to undergo surgery, ruling him out of some of the most important matches of India, including the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia in June. On Tuesday, Dravid confirmed that Rahul will not play in the Kandy matches of Asia Cup 2023.
Speaking at a press conference in Alur, Dravid revealed:
"So giving clarity on KL Rahul. He has had a really good week with us here. He has done training and is progressing really well on the route that we want to take. But he will be unavailable for the first part, for the Kandy leg of the tournament."
"Slightly more cautious approach" - Rahul Dravid
Elaborating more on KL Rahul's condition, Dravid stated that he is batting exceptionally well, but they do not want to rush him into playing and should play in the Colombo leg of the competition. The 50-year-old stated:
"From our perspective, it's just two fewer games. Both him and Shreyas are in the same bat. KL Rahul is really batting well, he is keeping well. I think it's just a slightly more cautious approach to him, leading into the World Cup. He will have a couple of match simulations over the next few days here. We are hoping that it should be only two games that he is missing. I am not worried about it. Him and Shreyas are experienced players. I expect KL Rahul to be available for the Colombo leg."
The Asia Cup 2023 commences on August 30th.