The first group of the Indian squad for the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC 2023) final consisting of about 20 members, mostly support staff, including Rahul Dravid and players Shardul Thakur and Akshar Patel flew out to the UK on May 23, 2023.
India is slated to play Australia in the WTC 2023 final at the Oval in London from June 7-11 with 12 being a reserve day.
With their teams out of the reckoning for the IPL play-offs, players like Akshar Patel, and Shardul Thakur were part of the first batch. Virat Kohli and R Ashwin, whose teams Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals are out of the IPL, will be leaving later, most probably on May 24.
Umesh Yadav, whose team Kolkata Knight Riders is also out of the IPL, may also reach England later. Net bowlers Akash Deep (a medium pacer from Bengal) and Pulkit Narang (an off-spinner from Delhi) may be part of the first batch.
Aniket Choudhary (a left-arm pacer from Rajasthan) and Prithvi Raj Yarra (a left-arm pacer from Andhra) may join later.
The first batch was supposed to be sent just after the IPL league stage, which ended on Sunday. Some players have asked the BCCI to permit them to leave at a later time, though.
"There may be departures every day till May 30. Logistics arrangements are being made for almost every day,” a source told Cricbuzz.
Jaydev Unadkat, who has been undergoing rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru for a shoulder injury, is expected to be fit for the WTC final and may leave after May 27.
Of the three standbys, Mukesh Kumar is in the first batch, and the other two, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Suryakumar Yadav, will travel after their IPL sides, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians, finish their IPL 2023 engagements.
Also, the report suggested that despite BCCI’s attempts, the Indian team might not get a warmup game and the plan now is to play a game among the touring members after everyone arrives in London.