The absence of Shreyas Iyer from India’s squad for the final three Tests against England was a talking point among fans. The writing seemed to be on the wall for Iyer, but the fans were left scratching their heads, wondering whether he had been dropped or was injured.
The BCCI announced a 17-man squad for the remainder of the series against England. Virat Kohli, who withdrew from the first two Tests, will be unavailable for the rest of the series. KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, the pair that missed the second Test due to injuries, are named in the squad but with an asterisk to their names: their participation in the third Test is subject to fitness clearance.
Shubman Gill cemented his place in the XI with a century in Vizag, while Rajat Patidar only made his debut and showed good technique. KL Rahul, if fit, will slot in place of Iyer at number 4 while Patidar is expected to retain his spot at number 5.
With Shreyas Iyer, not only his low scores in this series have hurt him, but it’s his lack of proper application and solidity against both pacers and spinners that are culpable. Known as Team India’s “spin-basher,” Iyer got out to spinners in all four innings in this series.
Iyer recorded scores of 35 and 13 in Hyderabad and 27 and 29 in Visakhapatnam. He has been struggling in red-ball cricket since last year. Since the start of 2023, Iyer has averaged only 17 in 7 Test matches and has looked out of place in the last couple of Test series.
Of all the Indian players to have played at least three Test matches since last year, Shreyas Iyer’s average of 17 is the worst among the batters and all-rounders; only Bumrah, Shami, Mukesh Kumar, and Umesh Yadav have a worse average than Iyer. So his non-inclusion from the rest of the series isn’t a surprise. But the BCCI has not yet made it clear in their release whether he is still injured.
Is Shreyas Iyer injured?
A couple of days before the squad announcement, reports said that Shreyas Iyer complained of back spasms one or two days after the Vizag Test, and that put his availability in the next three Tests in doubt. However, after the squad announcement, ESPNcricinfo said that Iyer was cleared by the medical team of the back spasms issue and was available for selection. This indicates that the BCCI selectors have indeed dropped Shreyas Iyer from the Test squad.
The one way all these doubts can be cleared is if Shreyas Iyer plays in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy match against Assam next week, which will start on February 16, a day after the Rajkot Test begins.