India’s in-form middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer is yet to completely recover from his back injury and has been ruled out of the first Test against Australia, starting from February 9 in Nagpur, the Indian Express reported on Wednesday (February 1).
The 28-year-old was ruled out of the ODI series against New Zealand and was asked to head to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for further assessment and management. However, it’s being reported that Iyer still has some pain in his lower back and has been advised to take at least two weeks’ rest.
The right-hander has only featured in seven Tests but has slammed 624 runs at an impressive average of 56.73, studded with one century and five fifties. Most of his runs have come under crunch situations and he was going to be India’s crucial member in the middle-order, especially in the absence of Rishabh Pant.
“His injury hasn’t healed as expected and he will take two weeks at least to play cricket again. He will certainly not be available for the first Test and his availability for the second Test will be subject to his fitness report,” a source in the Indian board informed the Indian Express.
Hence, Iyer won’t be joining the Indian team camp at Nagpur, starting February 2. In his absence, India could play one of Shubman Gill or Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order.
However, Ravindra Jadeja has been given the green signal and will join the camp ahead of the first Test. The spin-bowling all-rounder hasn’t played international cricket since September 2022 due to a long-standing knee injury but recently made a comeback for Saurashtra in the ongoing Ranji Trophy.
The 34-year-old claimed eight wickets in the match and bowled 41.1 overs across two innings, including an uninterrupted spell of 12 overs in the second essay.