“He’s fit; that’s why we picked him in the squad”

BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar has allayed concerns around batter Shreyas Iyer’s fitness ahead of the World Cup. He asserted that the player is fit and fine, which is why he has been named in the ODI squad for the series against Australia.

Shreyas has suffered multiple injury setbacks over the last year. Following a layoff due to a back injury, he made a comeback for the recently concluded Asia Cup. However, the 28-year-old suffered from back spasms ahead of the Super 4 game against Pakistan and had to be replaced by KL Rahul. He did not feature in the subsequent games of the competition.

At a virtual conference on Monday, September 18, though, Agarkar shared a positive update on Shreyas:

“He’s not picked up a stress fracture; otherwise he wouldn’t be in the squad. He’s fine – whether he’s batting, fielding. At the moment, he’s fit; that’s why we picked him in the squad. We are hopeful that he gets through all these three games.

“He’s worked incredibly hard over the last many months to be at this stage, to be fit. Fortunately for him, it wasn’t a massive injury, but he did pick up a niggle. He’ll have to get through these games, and we are hopeful that he will. At the moment, he is fine,” Agarkar added.

Shreyas batted in the group game against Pakistan in Pallekele but was dismissed for 14, trying to pull Haris Rauf.

“Don’t think team management will pick him” – Gautam Gambhir on Shreyas Iyer’s World Cup chances

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir recently predicted that Shreyas will be out of India’s World Cup squad due to his back injury woes. According to him, the Indian management won’t risk the injury-prone batter at a big event like the World Cup. He said during a discussion on Star Sports:

“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.”

Shreyas has played 44 ODIs for India, scoring 1645 runs at an average of 45.69, with two hundreds and 14 fifties.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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