Curated By: Aakash Biswas
Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 11:57 IST
India’s 10-wicket win against Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup 2023 final may have indicated the team’s preparedness for the forthcoming ODI World Cup, but there are still a few injury concerns which are required to be resolved before getting into the mega event. For instance, the curious case of Shreyas Iyer. The middle-order batter returned to India’s ODI set-up after a lengthy injury layoff but was sidelined again after featuring in just two games, against Pakistan and Nepal.
Iyer has been out of the side since March after suffering a lower back stress fracture. The injury, which required surgery, ruled him out of the entire IPL 2023 and the subsequent series – WTC Final and the West Indies tour. Following a brief rehabilitation at the NCA the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, Iyer went through match simulations and practice games to prove his fitness. However, ahead of the clash against Pakistan in the Super Four last week, he complained of a back spasm and remained on the bench since then.
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Former India opener Gautam Gambhir wasn’t much impressed with the way Iyer was sidelined in the Aisa Cup, opining that the latter should get replaced in the World Cup squad as he failed to prove his fitness in the Asia Cup.
“It is a concern. You were out for such a lengthy time and then you return for the Asia Cup, play one match and then again become unfit. I don’t think after this team management will pick up him for such a big tournament. You will see in the coming days that Iyer won’t be part of the World Cup squad and someone will be replacing him. You should always go into a World Cup with fit players. Performance is a different thing,” Gambhir told Star Sports.
Imagine if a player suffers from a spasm or some other thing then you cannot find a replacement. So if Iyer hasn’t been fit in this tournament then it is very difficult for him to be part of the World Cup because of his injury and then we don’t even know how his form is presently. Whatever his form was, it was 7-8 months back after which he only played in one game. So it is unfortunate,” he added.
Gambhir further said that the team management must question the NCA over Iyer’s repeated back injury.
“If questions are to be raised then ask the NCA because that is where he was all these months and then got a clearance from there as well. Who knows maybe they cleared him too quickly?”
Rohit Sharma on Shreyas Iyer’s Injury
After clinching the Asia Cup title for the 8th time, Indian captain Rohit Sharma gave an update on Iyer’s injury at the post-match presser in Colombo.
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“Shreyas was not available for this game because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today, he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 per cent as of now. But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours, and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don’t think it is a worry for us,” said Rohit.