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3 Batsmen Who Can Replace Shreyas Iyer If He Is Ruled Out Of Australia Test Series

3 Batsmen Who Can Replace Shreyas Iyer If He Is Ruled Out Of Australia Test Series


Both India and Shreyas Iyer are currently fretting over the batsman’s fitness with the home Test series against Australia starting in two weeks’ time. Iyer missed the ODI series against New Zealand and will miss the T20I series too because of a back injury following the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Iyer landed in the NCA earlier this week and has commenced his recovery. While India and Iyer will remain optimistic about his returning to full fitness ahead of the Test series, which starts on February 9 in Nagpur, there is nothing assured yet.

It will be a big dent to Team India should Iyer not be fit in time for the first Test as the hosts have already lost the services of Rishabh Pant. In Pant’s absence, either KS Bharat or Ishan Kishan will make his Test debut. A place left by Iyer, if he’s not fit, could mean more decisions to make for India. Iyer also is a terrific player in Asian conditions, so his potential loss is vastly detrimental.

India vs Sri Lanka: Shreyas Iyer lights up Bengaluru as pink ball wreaks  havoc on day one - Firstcricket News, Firstpost

Here are 3 batsmen who can take Shreyas Iyer’s place in the XI at number 5 position if he’s not fit:

Suryakumar Yadav

Suryakumar Yadav is the frontrunner to take Iyer’s spot if he’s not fit in the XI and will bat at number 5/6 if he gets to make his Test debut. Suryakumar Yadav is already part of the Test squad for this Australia series, so he’s likely to be ahead in the pecking order than others.

The first Test in Nagpur at least, if not the whole Test series, will be played on a rank-turner where quick scoring - and scoring as many runs in as little time as possible will be imperative. In the recent Ranji game in Nagpur, Vidarbha bowled Gujarat out for only 54 while defending a low target of 72! That’s how difficult it gets to score runs in Nagpur.

This would make the selection of Suryakumar Yadav, the man in red-hot form in white-ball cricket, in the XI an exciting one, and he could be the X-factor that India would need in a low-scoring contest.

Shubman Gill/KL Rahul

India have a problem of one too many openers in Test at the moment. One of Rohit, KL Rahul, and Gill will have to be either benched or pushed down in the middle-order. Rohit and KL Rahul are certain starters in the XI - apart from them being the captain and vice-captain, there is also the pecking order in which KL Rahul is the incumbent opener ahead of Gill - but Gill also hit a century in the Chattogram Test last month, and has been superb touch in ODIs.

India wouldn’t want to bench Gill either, so that could mean that Gill be placed in Iyer’s position in the middle-order.

The other alternative - an unlikely one though - is that KL Rahul takes the wicket-keeping gloves and shifts in the middle-order, and in that way Gill can open and India can also play Suryakumar in the XI.

Sarfaraz Khan

The success and surreal form of Sarfaraz Khan in red-ball domestic cricket cannot be overemphasised. The Mumbai batsman has averaged over 100 in all of the last three Ranji seasons, and with a first-class average of 80, Sarfaraz Khan is the closest thing to Bradman! He didn’t get called up to the squad initially, but if Iyer is ruled out, not only Sarfaraz Khan can get a maiden call up but given his splendid form, the team management can even ponder over handing him a Test debut cap.