India may have to do without two of their key batsmen, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023, which is scheduled to take place from August 30 to September 17 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Both players are recovering from injuries that ruled them out of IPL 2023 as well as several crucial bilateral series for India. 

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Rahul suffered a thigh injury while fielding during an IPL 2023 match between the Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challengers Bangalore on May 5. He announced on Instagram that he will undergo surgery on his right thigh and confirmed getting ruled out of the World Test Championship final against Australia starting June 7. Although the surgery was successful, he won't be able to get fit before the Asia Cup, as per Cricbuzz.

Iyer, on the other hand, sustained a back injury during the Border Gavaskar Trophy in March, earlier this year. The injury is a recurring one and has troubled him in the past too. He underwent a successful surgery in London in April and said that he was healing and recovering well. However, he also had to miss the IPL 2023, where he was replaced as Kolkata Knight Riders captain by Nitish Rana.

Both Rahul and Iyer are expected to take at least two months to return to full fitness, which means they are unlikely to be available for the Asia Cup 2023. The tournament will feature six teams, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Nepal - divided into two groups of three teams each.

Also Read: India’s probable squad for Asia Cup 2023

India is in Group A along with Pakistan and Nepal, while Sri Lanka is in Group B with Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 4s stage, followed by the final on September 17 in Colombo.

The absence of Rahul and Iyer will be a big blow for India, who will be looking to win their eighth Asia Cup title. Both players have been regulars in India’s ODI team, with Rahul scoring 1986 runs in 54 matches at an average of 45.14 and Iyer scoring 1631 runs in 42 matches at an average of 46.6. They also provide flexibility in the batting order, with Rahul capable of opening or playing in the middle order, and Iyer being a reliable No. 4 option.

India will hope that both players recover in time for the ODI World Cup 2023, which will start on October 5 in India. The defending champions will face New Zealand in their opening match in Ahmedabad on October 5.