Colombo, Sep 17, 2023- Before the start of 2023 Asia Cup final was delayed due to rain, India head coach Rahul Dravid admitted that key players being injured very close to the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup can really cost the teams a lot, adding that the side is trying to find a balance between game time and rest period.
With 17 days left for the Men’s ODI World Cup to begin, many sides are having injury issues. Australia saw left-handed batter Travis Head suffer a left hand fracture, with captain Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc recovering from their injuries.
South Africa have a concern with pacer Anrich Nortje down with lower-back injury, while New Zealand have premier pacer Tim Southee down with thumb fracture and captain Kane Williamson still recovering from a right knee injury.
India had KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna return from long injury layoffs, while Shreyas Iyer made a brief return post back injury, but back spasms kept him out of action post completion of Asia Cup league stage.
Moreover, they called up off-spin all-rounder Washington Sundar for the final to replace left-arm spinner Axar Patel, who sustained a quadriceps strain during Super Four match against Bangladesh on Friday.
“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,” said Dravid in a chat with the broadcasters.
After the Asia Cup ends, India will face Australia in three ODIs at home before embarking to play in the World Cup. Talking about facing a confident Sri Lanka team in the final, Dravid remarked, “Some of the catching and fielding in the earlier game against Sri Lanka was really impressive. We need to play good, smart cricket. They are a good team playing in home conditions, we need to execute our skills and scrap out a win.”
Rain has been a constant factor in the tournament till now, including in the final, but Dravid hoped India does enough to get over the line. “We were a bit worried about the weather, but we’ve got decent cricket throughout the tournament. Hopefully, we can get over the line today. Sometimes, you won’t be at your best but to scrap out a win.” (Agency)