The senior men’s selection committee announced India’s squad for the remaining three Tests against England on Saturday, February 10 scheduled to be held in Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala. In a major blow to the hosts, star batter Virat Kohli remained absent from the squad due to personal reasons. Notably, Kohli had withdrawn from the first two Tests due to personal reasons which remain unknown and has now extended his leave.
Apart from him, middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer’s name was also missing from the team. The 29-year-old had been struggling to find his form in the longest format since 2023 having scored just 187 runs from 12 innings at an average of 17. The 29-year-old hasn’t scored a half-century in his last 13 innings and had amassed 104 runs in the four innings of the first two Tests.
Iyer reportedly complained of back spasms after the second Test, however, according to ESPNCricinfo the injury was not serious enough to drop him from the team. Furthermore, the BCCI also didn’t state anything on his injury in the press release making it clear that the batter was indeed dropped due to his poor form.
The right-handed batter scored a magnificent hundred (105) on his Test debut against New Zealand in Kanpur followed by a brilliant 65 in the second innings. Courtesy of his batting performance, he was also awarded Player of the Match.
Shreyas Iyer averaged 56 in initial two years in Test cricket
In the initial two years of Test cricket, Iyer scored 624 runs at an average of 56 with one hundred and five fifties. However, his technical shortcomings were exposed on the tours of England and South Africa he could score just 34 (2 innings) and 41 runs (4 innings) respectively.
With Iyer not in the side, the team management will have to slot in a new batter at number 4 for the remaining three Tests. Notably KL Rahul batted at number four in the first Test in Hyderabad but his availability for the third Test is subject to fitness clearance. If Rahul fails to gain match fitness, Mumbai batter Sarfaraz Khan could well make his debut in the third game beginning from February 15 in Rajkot.
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