New Delhi: KL Rahul has been included in India’s World Cup 2023 squad, marking his return from a lengthy injury layoff, as the BCCI confirmed the 15-member squad.
Batter Suryakumar Yadav also managed to hold on to a spot in the squad for the marquee event with regular skipper Rohit Sharma leading the side and all-rounder Hardik Pandya as his deputy.
Rahul, who last played an ODI in March this year, injured his thigh earlier in the year at the IPL, though has been training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, and preparing to fly out to Sri Lanka for the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup.
With Rahul in the squad, Sanju Samson, who is a reserve player at the Asia Cup, has missed out, as well as Tilak Varma and Prasidh Krishna as other omissions.
Rohit leads the batting group, with Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav all named, as well as Ishan Kishan, who provides another keeping option.
Hardik, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur will be the all-rounders in the team.
After making a successful return from a long injury layoff, Jasprit Bumrah spearheads the bowling group, with Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are the designated pacers while Kuldeep Yadav is the specialist spinner in the squad.
While the deadline to submit the World Cup squad to the ICC is September 5, teams can make changes until September 28 without needing approval from the ICC.
India will open their World Cup campaign on October 8, when they take on Australia in Chennai.
Asia Cup: Rohit, Gill fifties power India to Super Fours
Pallekele: Unbeaten fifties by captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill powered India to the Super Fours stage of the Asia Cup with a ten-wicket thrashing of Nepal in their Group A match at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
After Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj picked three wickets apiece while Aasif Sheikh and Sompal Kami played gusty knocks in guiding Nepal to a competitive 230, the rain stopped the proceedings for two hours. By then, India had reached 17 for no loss in 2.1 overs and the target was then revised to 145 in 23 overs as per DLS method when the game resumed after the lengthy break.
Rohit (74 not out off 59 balls) and Gill (67 not out off 62 balls) slammed whirlwind fifties while stitching an unbroken opening partnership to complete the chase with 17 balls to spare.
While Sharma hit six fours and five sixes, Gill slammed eight fours and a six in ensuring India qualified for the next stage of the competition, making up for a sloppy fielding show and lacklustre bowling effort.
Earlier, the India-Pakistan match was called off due to rain.