India has chosen to recall the now-fit KL Rahul for their upcoming home World Cup later this year. However, the 15-man squad does not include off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Rahul, a wicketkeeper-batsman, had been sidelined due to a thigh injury and has not participated in competitive matches since May. Nevertheless, he is scheduled to rejoin the team during the Super Four stage of the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
Ishan Kishan, who has smashed a fifty in his last four one-day internationals, leads the race for the wicketkeeper’s spot partly because of the left-handed variety he brings.
“It’s a good headache to have, isn’t it?” chief selector Ajit Agarkar told reporters in Pallekele, Sri Lanka.
“Ishan played a lovely innings (in the Asia Cup), can open the innings … KL’s one-day record is fantastic.
“So when he comes, there will be conversations but you at least have two options now.”
Kuldeep Yadav is the lone frontline wrist-spinner in the Rohit Sharma-led squad, which contains spin all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
Ashwin, who remains India’s preferred spinner in test cricket, was not accommodated though.
“Both give us depth in batting,” Agarkar said of Jadeja and Patel.
“In 50 overs cricket, perhaps you would ideally want an off-spinner but this gives us the best balance.”
Rohit was happy with the depth in his squad but demanded more contribution from India’s tailenders.
“We found this lacking in our team for the last few years, so we wanted to make sure that we get that batting depth somehow.”
“It’s not just to come out and bowl out the opposition but it’s also to contribute with the bat, and it can make a huge difference.”
Twice champions India, who lost in the semi-finals in 2019, begin their World Cup campaign with an October 8 contest against Australia in Chennai.