Gautam Gambhir`s expected appointment as India`s head coach could provide an opportunity for the IPL champion Shreyas Iyer to return to the international level. Iyer might appear in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in July and August.

Having a successful run in the IPL 2024, Shreyas Iyer might also play in India`s XI in the five-match T20I series against Zimbabwe which will kick start on July 5. But the more positive chances of him featuring in Indian matches is in the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

Gambhir, who is the front-runner for India`s coach position, and Iyer forged a successful partnership during KKR`s victorious IPL campaign this year and the talented Mumbai right-hander, who has been a prolific 50-over batter, might finally have fortune favouring him after a few tumultuous months.

Gambhir was the mentor of the franchise. Iyer was dropped from BCCI`s central contracts, along with Ishan Kishan, after they fell out with the establishment for his apparent reluctance to play Ranji Trophy.

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However, Iyer always maintained that his recurring lower back issue kept him out of the game even though he did play the Ranji Trophy final scoring 90-odd runs.

There are chances for Indian youngsters to feature in the series against Zimbabwe who delivered performances in the IPL 2024. They are currently training at the National Cricket Academy. The squad will be announced in the next time`s week.

“Shreyas is currently not at NCA. Here mostly those players are there, who have performed in the IPL and will be in contention for Zimbabwe selection.

“Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Mayank Yadav, Harshit Rana, Nitish Reddy, Vijaykumar Vyshak and Yash Dayal are all at the camp. Some will go to Zimbabwe T20Is,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“However, there is every possibility that Shreyas will travel for the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka. The last ODI that India played was in South Africa and he scored a half-century (52). He had 500 plus runs (530) in the World Cup and averages just around 50. Can you drop him?” he added.

Star Indian players such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah will now focus on the ODIs and Tests. Team India will now play nine WTC Tests from September 2024 to January 2025. Also, the side will host two games each against Bangladesh and New Zealand. They will then tour to Australia to play five matches. Also, the Champions Trophy which will be held in Pakistan is also in the line.

While there will be a lot of new players in T20Is including IPL stars, the likes of Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Avesh Khan, and Khaleel Ahmed are also expected to travel to Zimbabwe.

In case Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav are not rested, they are expected to be the designated captain and vice-captain for the tour although both have been playing constantly since the start of the IPL.

(With PTI Inputs)

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