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Chahal to Rahul: Here's what Agarkar said about India squad for Asia Cup

India chief selector Ajit Agarkar on Monday said it was important for both Shreyas Iyer and K L Rahul to get enough game time ahead of the ODI World Cup in India. Here's all he had to say

Ajit Agarkar

Ajit Agarkar. Representative Image

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Kl Rahul and Shreyas Iyer needed game time ahead of the ODI World Cup, noted India's chief selctor Ajit Agarkar. Agarkar, while announcing the Indian squad for the Asia Cup 2023 alongside skippr Rohit Sharma also spoke on various issues. On Monday, August 21, India announced the 17-man squad for the event starting August 31, 2023. 

Here's what Agarkar had to say on all major announcements during India's Asia Cup squad announcement
Ajit Agarkar on KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer injuries
"Rahul plays in the team as a wicketkeeper-batter. Hopefully he will be available from the first game itself. Both Rahul and Iyer had long term injuries and they have done really well to get fit. It is a small setback for KL but we are hopeful that will be okay. He is a very important player needless to say," Agarkar said.
"From what we have been told it should not be too bad (in Rahul's case). We still have one month and a half before World Cup, hopefully they (Iyer and Rahul) will get enough cricket before that," he added. 
Ahead of the selection meeting, there were questions over both Rahul and Iyer's inclusion in the India squad as they have not played competitive cricket for months. Rahul and Iyer are coming back after undergoing thigh and back surgeries.
Agarkar claries Ishan Kishan is a back-up opener
"Rohit is not a bad player, Shubman has had a phenomenal year. Ishan Kishan (is another one). Shikhar has been a terrific player for India. At the moment three guys are doing well and you can fit only 15. Unfortunately someone has to fit. At the moment these are our preferred openers," Agarkar said, ruling out any comeback for Dhawan. 
Agarkar reveals why Axar Patel was picked ahead of Chahal

"He is another terrific performer for India. Sometimes it is the balance of the team or the team combination. Axar (Patel) has done really well and he can bat as well.

Kuldeep (Yadav) has had a fantastic run so to fit two wrist spinners might be difficult. Kuldeep is little bit ahead of him. So he has to miss out unfortunately," said Agarkar. 
Agarkar answers why have India picked up six specialist pacers 
"Dew will play a part (in World Cup in India). We have seen it many times. But it is more about the balance of the team. Good bowler will find a way to bowl in different conditions," Agarkar said.
"Sometimes it is a little bit easier for pacers than spinners to grip the ball. I don't think it was necessarily just the dew. You are trying the get the best balance you can get. When it comes to dew good bowlers find a way," he added. 

*With PTI input

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First Published: Aug 21 2023 | 8:28 PM IST

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