BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar has shared concerns about batter Shreyas Iyer’s fitness ahead of the World Cup. He added that the talented batter is fit and fine, which is why he has been added to the ODI squad for the series against Australia. However, Shreyas has sustained multiple injury setbacks over the last year. And, after a layoff due to a back injury, he returned in the recently concluded Asia Cup. But he suffered from back spasms ahead of the Super 4 game against Pakistan and did not feature in the rest of the games of the competition.
At a virtual conference on Monday, September 18, Agarkar said: “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.”
Notably, Shreyas Iyer batted in the group game against Pakistan in Pallekele but could only manage 14. Shreyas has so far played 44 ODIs for India, scoring 1645 runs at an average of 45.69, with two tons and 14 fifties. On the other hand, Axar Patel has also been a key member of the Indian team in the limited-overs formats over the last few years as well. His improved batting has been a massive plus point for India down the order also.
“From what has been made known to us with Axar’s injury is that he should be okay. That’s a call we’ll make once we know that,” Agarkar said. “Axar, unfortunately, picked up an injury in that game, and we are hopeful that he will be fit. Washington Sundar was already part of the squad for the (Asia Cup) final, and Ashwin brings experience, so it gives us options in case there is a need at some stage to look at a couple of guys.”
“There are a couple of guys – Ashwin and Sundar. But, at least, it leaves us with options – these guys get a couple of games now. It gives the team management a few options if they need to go that way.”If the need arises, we’ll have a look at it at that stage. I don’t think there’s any need to speculate right now. We are hoping that he (Axar) is fit,” Ajit Agarkar concluded.