India captain Rohit Sharma has provided an update on several teammates as India step up their Cricket World Cup 2023 preparations.
While too strong for Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup Final at the R.Premadasa Stadium, India were without a number of key players, and the side's make-up for the home World Cup campaign is far from decided.
Clearing the air, the skipper is confident the side will have a clean bill of health before the tournament, with Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer on the path to full fitness well before their 8 October opener.
Nursing both a wrist injury and a minor tear in his left quadricep, Axar's injuries are the team's worst across the group, missing the backend of India's victorious campaign.
Axar's skipper admitted the spin-bowling all-rounder will miss part of their World Cup lead-in series against Australia, though is confident of his availability for the tournament proper.
"It looks like maybe a week or ten days (to heal), I don’t know. We have to see how that injury progresses," Rohit stated after their ten-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
"Some guys recover quickly, and I hope that’s the case with him.
“I am not sure whether he will be able to play the first two games against Australia at home. But we will wait and see.”
Rohit also provided updates on Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin, with the former ruled "99% fit" for action.
Iyer was kept out of Asia Cup action with minor back spasms, though Rohit has been informed the key batter has all but completed his rehabilitation.
“Shreyas was not available for (the final) because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 per cent as of now.
“But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours (as part of his build-up to full fitness), and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don’t think it is a worry for us.”
As for Ashwin, Rohit stated the spin-bowling all-rounder is still in the running for a spot in India's Cricket World Cup squad, in spite of not being called up for the Asia Cup final as Axar's replacement.
Rohit stressed fellow all-rounder Washington Sundar was favoured given his availability at the 11th hour, having been readied for India's Asian Games effort in Hangzhou, China
“As a spinner-all-rounder, Ashwin is in line, I have been talking to him on the phone," Rohit reiterated.
"The injury happened to Axar at the last minute. Washington was available, so he had to come and perform the role for us.
“He (Washington) was cricket-fit because he was part of the Asian Games camp (in Bengaluru).
"I have been very clear with players about their roles. Everyone is in the loop.”