After the culmination of the league stage of the ongoing IPL 2023 on Sunday, talismanic India batter Virat Kohli, ace off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast bowler Mohammed Siraj will be among the seven players to leave for England on Tuesday ahead of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia, scheduled to be held from June 7-11 at The Oval in London.
As per a report in Sportstar, all eleven cricketers — comprising seven squad members, a reserve and three support bowlers — along with the support staff will leave for England in the early hours of Tuesday. The report added that apart from Kohli, Ashwin and Siraj, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat will be leaving for England too.
The report said that both Unadkat and Umesh, who were nursing shoulder and hamstring injuries during IPL 2023, had been passed fit by experts at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
“Understandably, all these cricketers, barring Unadkat, are from the six franchises whose Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign ended in the league stage. Unadkat had been replaced by the Lucknow Super Giants after injuring himself in the nets,” it added.
The report also said that Mukesh Kumar, the promising pacer who is among the reserves and played for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2023 alongside Axar, will also travel to England as part of the first batch, with head coach Rahul Dravid to lead the preparation phase as captain Rohit Sharma will be leading Mumbai Indians in IPL 2023 Playoffs.
“He will be joined by three more pacers — Aniket Choudhary, Akash Deep and Yarra Prithviraj — who have been selected as net bowlers by the national selection panel in consultation with the team management. Cheteshwar Pujara, participating in the County Championship, will join the preparations later this week,” it added.
Apart from Rohit, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Mohammad Shami, K.S. Bharat and Ajinkya Rahane are also participating in IPL 2023 playoffs. The report further said the remaining members of the 15-member squad along with reserves Suryakumar Yadav and Ruturaj Gaikwad are expected to leave for London on May 29, the night after the IPL final is held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on May 28.
India, who finished runners-up in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship final at Southampton in 2021 after an eight-wicket loss to New Zealand, are aiming to win a’major ICC men’s title in almost ten years.