Rahul Dravid to join Rohit Sharma in India selection meeting

India head coach Rahul Dravid will be joining captain Rohit Sharma in the meeting with the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee in New Delhi to pick the squad for the upcoming Asia Cup.

According to a report on Cricbuzz, Dravid has been summoned to the meeting that takes place in the national capital on Monday, 21 August. The former India captain, who has been the head coach since late 2021, is expected to provide important inputs in the selection process with Agarkar having only recently succeeded Chetan Sharma as the chief selector.

The presence of a head coach in selection meetings hasn’t been a regular occurrence in Indian cricket of late; Dravids’s predecessor Ravi Shastri had not participated in any meeting during his four-year stint from 2017 to 2021.

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The selection committee is expected to name largely similar squads for the Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup that takes place in the months of October and November and will be the first time India hosts the mega event since their triumph in 2011.

Agarkar and Co, in consultation with Rohit and Dravid, are expected to take a call over picking an extra spinner or a batter in the squad. The choice could come down to going with someone like leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal or middle-order batting options Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson, the latter also serving as a wicketkeeping backup.

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Additionally, injured duo KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are nearing full fitness and are expected to be fit for the two major events that will be spanning more than two months. Rahul, who had injured his thigh during this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), has made himself available for selection. Iyer, who has been out of action since the Border-Gavaskar Trophy due to a back injury, is nearing full fitness.

“KL Rahul’s availability for selection is confirmed, given his impressive fitness and form. As for Shreyas Iyer, the signs are indeed extremely positive,” a source close to the developments was quoted as telling CricketNext.

Both Iyer and Rahul had been undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, where pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna had also been recovering from their back injuries before returning to action after year-long absences in the first T20I against Ireland on Friday.

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While Bumrah has made himself something of a certainty for the Asia Cup and the World Cup with his impressive spell against Ireland in Malahide, the selectors will be pondering over picking Krishna in the squad. Krishna had been performing consistently in ODIs before the injury and had become a handy seam option for skipper Rohit in the middle overs, a role that he could be asked to perform again, albeit on a much bigger platform.

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