India head coach Rahul Dravid has hinted that fit-again Shreyas Iyer is set to “walk into” India’s playing XI for the second Test against Australia if the team management feels the batter is ready to carry the load for five days.
The second Test of the series will be held in Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium from February 17 to 21. Delhi is hosting its first Test since December 2017. India have 1-0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.
Shreyas Iyer missed the three-match ODI series against New Zealand and the first Test against Australia. On Tuesday, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that Iyer will join the squad in New Delhi ahead of the second Test of the Australia tour of India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Dravid stated that Iyer will bat again on Thursday and that the decision will be taken if the team management believes he is ready to carry the load for five days and everyone in the team understands the situation.
“It’s always great to have somebody back from injury. We never like to lose people because of injury. It’s not for us as a team, not nice for the individual. 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,” Rahul Dravid said in the pre-match press conference in Delhi.
Iyer suffered swelling in his lower back after playing in the two-Test series against Bangladesh in December.
India head coach said it’s Iyer’s temperament that has impressed him the most, making him a strong contender in the middle order.
“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,” Dravid added.
He said team management appreciates players who have won matches for India and that when they return from injury, they would be considered for playing XI.
“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,” he said. (ANI)