Rahul Dravid Reveals Fit Shreyas Iyer Will Walk Into India’s Playing XI
By CricShots - Feb 15, 2023 6:50 pm
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A fit-again Shreyas Iyer will be expected to “walk into” India’s playing XI for the second Test match against Australia starting February 17 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi. Iyer missed the opening game of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia in Nagpur due to a back injury. But after undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, Iyer was set to get his position back in the middle order.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer

That means, Suryakumar Yadav, who made his debut in the Nagpur Test and was out bowled for eight, will be making way for Shreyas Iyer. India head coach Rahul Dravid said everyone on the team understands the situation. Iyer practiced hard in the nets in India’s first full-fledged training on Wednesday. Dravid said Iyer will bat again on Thursday and if the team management feels he is ready to take the load for five days, he will straightaway come into the XI.

During the pre-match press conference, Rahul Dravid said, “We never like to lose people because of injury. I’m glad that he is back and fit. We’ll take a call after a couple of days of training. He’s had a long session today, he has done some training. We will assess it tomorrow as well once he comes for a light hit and see how it goes. If he is fit and ready to go and take the load of five days of a Test match, then without a doubt with his past performances, he will walk straight into the XI.”

Iyer has been one of India’s top performers in ODIs and Tests in 2022. Ever since making his debut against New Zealand in November 2021, he has shown admirable composure at this level. Iyer is India’s second-highest run-getter in Test cricket since his debut. His tally of 624 runs in 7 Tests at an average of 56 is only behind Rishabh Pant’s 722 runs in 8 matches.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid

The Indian head coach explained, “Yes, Shreyas has played well against spin but what really stood out is his temperament. We’ve been in quite a few pressure situations with Shreyas around, right from his debut game in Kanpur. In the last year and a half, he, Jadeja and Rishabh have been the ones bailing us out from those tough situations by playing those critical knocks. His temperament in Bangladesh when we were under the pump, is something that is a really good sign.”

On being asked about Suryakumar Yadav’s position, the former India captain said the current team management makes a note of all the performing cricketers who have won matches for India and when they make a comeback from an injury, they will get their spot back in the XI.

Talking about SKY, Rahul Dravid said, “Without it being on stone and without it being a rule… We value the contributions of people who have performed. If they have missed out due to injuries, they deserve the right to make a comeback irrespective of what has happened during the time that they have been injured.”