India head coach Rahul Dravid has sent a massive warning to the team with the ODI World Cup less than three weeks away now. Dravid has expressed his concern over the rising injury list for Team India with two players down already as the team gets in action against defending champions Sri Lanka in the 2023 Asia Cup final on Sunday at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
On Sunday, India captain Rohit Sharma revealed that the five players who were rested in the inconsequential Super Four game against Bangladesh on Friday, have made a return to the XI implying the likes of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah will be in action against Sri Lanka. However, Shreyas Iyer remains on the bench with his back injury.
The India No. 4 batter, who featured in only one match in the tournament after making a return from a long injury lay off pertaining to a lower back stress for which he had even undergone a surgery, was sidelined from the XI since the group game against Nepal.
Meanwhile, on the eve of the blockbuster final, BCCI confirmed that all-rounder Axar Patel has also been ruled out of the match against Dasun Shanaka’s men “due to a left quadriceps strain sustained during India’s Super Four match against Bangladesh on Friday.” Axar was replaced by Washington Sundar in the XI who was flown in to Colombo over the weekend.
Amid the growing injury concerns, Dravid, before the start of the Asia Cup final, told the broadcasters that India will find it difficult during the World Cup with such developments happening so close to the event.
“All teams are in a similar position, injuries so close to the WC could really cost you. We just need to keep our fingers crossed, trust our processes. We are in a tricky situation where some guys need to be rested, while some guys need some cricket. It is a tricky balance to achieve,” he said.
While Axar’s replacement is temporary as of yet with Sundar slated to be part of the Asian Games tournament later this year, BCCI is yet to make an official statement on Iyer’s injury.
Although BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar had clarified earlier this month that India are unlikely to make any changs to their final 15 for the World Cup, teams have until September 27 to make the final submission to ICC for the tournament.