Having failed to recover from back spasms, Iyer remains at the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation.
Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the upcoming India vs Australia Test series opener due to a back injury, news agency PTI reported on Wednesday. Iyer failed to recover from back spasms that kept him out of the ODI series against New Zealand. Iyer, who has been a consistent performer in his short Test career, was India’s stand out batter in the 2-0 series win in Bangladesh in December.
Iyer’s absence will also open one spot in the Indian batting order and the choice will be between Suryakumar Yadav, a career middle-order batter who has the X-factor, and Shubman Gill, who has mostly opened for the national team in Tests.
“When New Zealand came to India in late 2021, Shubman Gill was being considered for middle order as KL Rahul was supposed to open with Mayank Agarwal. Then Rahul got injured and Gill opened. Then he got injured again. He was being considered for middle order in red ball,” a BCCI source privy to the development told PTI.
With skipper Rohit Sharma and vice-captain Rahul being the first-choice openers in the squad, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli at numbers three and four respectively, the number five slot becomes very important in the Indian context as that individual is expected to play the second new ball.
In the case of Gill, being a Test regular and having originally started his red ball career as a middle-order batter, certainly helps his case.
“When Rahul Dravid manned India A, Gill had played in middle order in a West Indies A tour where he had a double hundred in one of the Tests. To be fair, he was originally a middle order batter, who was converted into an opener,” the former national selector said.
In the case of Surya, his dominance against spinners on wickets offering turn is a key factor.
“In case Nathan Lyon gets to turn his off breaks big, then SKY can dismantle him with his footwork. But against Cummins, Hazlewood, Gill could be a better bet,” he added.
Iyer remains at the National Cricket Academy for rehabilitation.
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