Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif has raised doubts about the potential return of KL Rahul to the playing XI during the Asia Cup 2023, particularly after the batsman’s absence in the initial two matches. Kaif has pointed out that KL Rahul’s participation in the upcoming matches of the tournament remains uncertain, and there is no assurance of his fitness. As it stands, KL Rahul has been sidelined for the matches against Pakistan and Nepal.

Elaborating on the situation, Kaif shared, “Considering KL Rahul’s omission from the early games of the Asia Cup 2023, it’s evident that the team management is adopting a cautious approach. This development is not the most favorable for the team, especially given Rahul’s consistent performance at the No.5 position in ODIs. He boasts strong numbers in this particular format of the game.”

Furthermore, Kaif underscored Rahul’s pivotal role, stating, “Rahul brings a crucial finishing touch to the team’s batting lineup. He showcases a fine equilibrium between defense and attack, a quality that can’t be easily replaced. Additionally, being a wicket-keeper, he offers that valuable finishing flourish to the team’s innings.”

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Shifting the focus to a more optimistic note, Kaif shared his assessment of how the Kandy pitch could favor India’s opener Shubman Gill. He explained, “Gill has faced some challenges recently, particularly struggling against the West Indies. However, my belief is that the characteristics of the Kandy pitch, marked by its pace and bounce, could align well with Gill’s batting technique.”

Kaif’s insights provide a well-rounded analysis of the team dynamics, the potential absence of key players like KL Rahul, and the adaptability required for success in the Asia Cup 2023 matches that lie ahead.