Concerns remain about Shreyas Iyer`s availability for India`s final Super 4 game against Bangladesh on Friday. Although the injury isn`t apparently very serious, it could be a cause of worry for Team India as the national selection committee will name the squad for the three-match series against Australia sometime during the week.
Iyer, who has come back after a long lay-off and a back surgery to cure his stress fracture, played against Pakistan and Nepal in the group league stage before pulling out of the match against the arch-rivals at the eleventh hour, complaining back spasms.
A clearer picture will emerge on Thursday during the optional training ahead of the Bangladesh game.
Those in the know of the things said that there seems to be “some amount of stiffness”, which will definitely impact his movements during fielding but they are hopeful that it won`t turn out to be very serious.
The Ajit Agarkar-led selection committee is expected to name the squad for the Australia series sometime during the ongoing week. It could be on the day of the Bangladesh game or prior to the Asia Cup final on Sunday.
While the preliminary World Cup squad has been named, the Indian team management will be worried about Iyer`s fitness and if he misses the Australia series, he would be really short of match practice with only two warm-up games left before the first match against Australia in Chennai on October 8.
KL Rahul has put an end to all fitness worries with his 100 and 39 in the two Super 4 games and even though he still looked a tad rusty initially while keeping to Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja, he did regain a lot of confidence after gathering a few.
Ishan Kishan is now a designated outfielder and it is there to be seen whether Iyer, if fit, replaces Kishan in the final Super 4 game against Bangladesh.
Kishan, despite a great run in recent ODIs, did seem to struggle on slow tracks but to be fair to him, none of the batters save skipper Rohit Sharma and to some extent Rahul, looked comfortable against left-arm spin of Dunith Wellalage.
Travelling reserve Sanju Samson has returned home and Tilak Verma is supposed to join the Asian Games camp after the end of this tournament.
Possibly Tilak being a left-hander could pip a more experienced Sanju in worst possible case where he is unable to recover in time. However with two weeks (September 27) left to announce final squad, every stakeholder in Indian cricket will keep its fingers crossed.
(With agency inputs)