NCA puts KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer through match simulation training before Asia Cup selection

The two critical Indian middle-order World Cup hopefuls have entered the final stage of their recovery process from respective hamstring and back surgeries. 

Physios and coaches at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) have taken the next step in the rehabilitation process for both KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer and the two critical middle-order World Cup hopefuls will be undergoing match simulation training to measure their readiness for a comeback, reported ESPNcricinfo. 

Rahul and Iyer, recuperating after respective surgeries for hamstring and back from earlier this year, will be going through various match scenarios in centre wicket practice as the physios and medical team determine if their body holds up the strain. At the conclusion of the week-long simulation phase, the two right-hand batters will also undergo two warm-up matches. 

The whole process is designed to give the selectors time and clarity on the two cricketers before finalising a squad for the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, which has been delayed, with ESPNcricinfo revealing it is expected to be out on August 20. 

The BCCI's most recent update on Rahul and Iyer came late last month. A positive update that the two cricketers have returned to the nets and started practising drills after making speedier than expected recovery from the post-surgery phase. That raised hopes of both or at least one of them making the Asia Cup contingent and from there the 2023 World Cup. 

Rahul, Iyer's recovery behind Asia Cup selection delay

It is understood that the BCCI has postponed the Asia Cup squad selection to give the Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee a greater chance to ascertain if Rahul and Iyer are fit for the rigours of 50-overs cricket. 

If the two cricketers pass the final set of physical test, they will be approved for international comebacks in the mould that speedsters Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna were recently for the Ireland T20Is. 

WATCH: Rishabh Pant shares footage of recovering KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer batting at NCA

The backroom discussions on the matter seem optimistic with head coach Rahul Dravid hinting after the final T20I against the West Indies that India could have all their injured players back in time for the Asia Cup. If fit, Rahul and Iyer will immediately link-up with the squad via Indian team's week-long training camp in Bangalore, starting August 23, for the Asia Cup. 

"We have a few guys coming back from injuries in any case," said Dravid. "We are going to have to give them opportunities to play [in the Asia Cup]. I haven't really thought about the Asia Cup at this stage. We have a one-week camp in Bengaluru from August 23. We'll be assembling there as a one-day team. We will take it as it comes."