Team India couldn’t have timed their Asia Cup trophy haul better. Decimating Sri Lanka in a final at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo that lasted just 129 deliveries with Mohammed Siraj finishing with a record 6 for 21, India lifted their first ever title in a multi-nation event in five years, with the win happening less than three weeks before the ODI World Cup at home. However, one of the major concern about the Indian team pertains to the growing injury list ahead of the big tournament. On Sunday, after the record win in Colombo, captain Rohit Sharma provided as major update in Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer with the team now looking ahead to the home series against Australia.
India’s next and final assignment before the World Cup is a three-match ODI series against five-time champions Australia which begins from September 22 onwards in Mohali. The second game will be played on the 24th in Indore while the final tie will in on the 27th in Baroda.
The series will be a major factor in India finally deciding on their XI for the World Cup, which begins from October 5 onwards. And hence, India would want all their 15 to be fit for the series. But will Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel be part of the contest having suffered injuries in the Asia Cup?
Iyer, who returned to the set-up after seven months of layoff, hut his back yet again after appearing in just one game. Axar, on the other hand, was ruled out after incurring a blow in the match against Bangladesh on Friday and hence Washington Sundar replaced him in the Asia Cup final.
Speaking to the media after the match in Colombo, Rohit provided with an injury update on the two.
“Axar had a small tear. It looks like maybe it will take a week or 10 days (to heal), I don’t know. We have to see how that injury progresses. Some guys recover quickly, and I hope that’s the case with him,” skipper Rohit didn’t seem too confident about the speed of recovery for the Gujarat all-rounder. “I am not sure whether he will be able to play the first two games against Australia at home. But we will wait and see.”
Speaking about Iyer, who batted in the nets and also engaged in some fielding drills over the last couple of days, Rohit clarified that the India No. 4 did not tick off certain parameters set for him and hence was not included in the XI for the Sri Lanka match.
“Shreyas was not available for this game because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today, he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 percent as of now. But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours, and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don’t think it is a worry for us,” said Rohit.
If Axar misses the two matches, BCCI is likely to announce his replacement and it is unlikely to be Sundar given that he will be part of the Asian Games squad later this month in China.