Harshal Patel is set to miss the Asia Cup and is a doubtful starter for the World Cup. A virtual twenty-over specialist known for variety and guile in his bowling, the Indian pacer has learned to suffer from a side strain that could throw him off guard. The lineup is expected to be announced on August 8.
Harshal, 31, is currently with the Indian team in the USA for the five-match T20I series against the West Indies, but did not feature in the first three matches. He is set to miss the remaining two games, one of which starts in Florida later on Saturday, August 6.
The side strain also puts him at risk of missing the World Twenty20 in Australia in October-November as the injury requires four to six weeks of rest and rehabilitation. His chances at the World Cup depend on how quickly he recovers and he will be asked to join the National Cricket Academy (NCA) after he returns from the USA. Harshal, who has played 17 T20Is since his debut in November last year, has not played since July 10 when India took on England in Nottingham.
Harshal’s absence could provide a good opportunity for Deepak Chahar, who has been sidelined since February with a hamstring injury but has been picked for Zimbabwe’s three-ODI series later this month.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are also set to be back in the mix for the Asia Cup. Both missed the West Indies series for different reasons – Rahul was out with Covid and Kohli ruled out. Much will depend on the input of coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma, who will be spoken to by the selectors after the USA matches. The Asia Cup will be held in the UAE from August 27 to September 11.