“Iyer won’t be part of the World Cup…”: Gautam Gambhir Questions Shreyas Iyer’s World Cup Spot Amidst Injury Concerns

With the ICC ODI World Cup on the horizon, India’s successful Asia Cup campaign has been marred by concerns over player injuries, particularly that of Shreyas Iyer. While India ticked all the right boxes en route to their Asia Cup victory, the team management faces a dilemma regarding the fitness and form of key players, including Iyer. Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir has raised questions about Iyer’s spot in the World Cup squad, citing his injury setbacks and lack of recent match practice.

Shreyas Iyer, India’s No. 4 batsman, has faced a string of injuries and setbacks in recent months. He was sidelined from the national team since March due to a lower back stress injury. Despite undergoing surgery and rehabilitation, Iyer’s comeback during the Asia Cup was short-lived as he suffered a back spasm, rendering him unavailable for the final and raising concerns about his readiness for the upcoming World Cup.

Gautam Gambhir, in conversation with Star Sports, expressed his reservations about Iyer’s inclusion in the World Cup squad. He highlighted the concern that after such a lengthy absence from competitive cricket and limited match practice, Iyer’s form and fitness remain uncertain. Gambhir suggested that if a player is not fit during the Asia Cup, it would be challenging for them to be part of the World Cup squad.

“It is a concern. You were out for such a lengthy time and then you return for Asia Cup, play one match and then again become unfit. I don’t think after this team management will pick up him for such a big tournament. You will see in the coming days that Iyer won’t be part of the World Cup squad and someone will be replacing him. You should always go into a World Cup with fit players. Performance is a different thing. Imagine if a player suffers from a spasm or some other thing then you cannot find a replacement. So if Iyer hasn’t been fit in this tournament then it is very difficult for him to be part of the World Cup because of his injury and then we don’t even know how is form is presently. Whatever his form was, it was 7-8 months back after which he only played in one game. So it is unfortunate,” he said.

Gambhir also questioned the role of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in managing Iyer’s repeated back injuries, suggesting that they might have cleared him too quickly, leading to his latest setback.

He said: “If questions are to be raised then ask the NCA because that is where he was all these months and then got a clearance from there as well. Who knows maybe they cleared him too quickly?”

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Rohit Sharma, India’s captain, provided an update on Shreyas Iyer’s situation, mentioning that Iyer had not met certain parameters set for him, which is why he was not included in the playing XI for the Asia Cup final. However, Rohit expressed confidence that Iyer was close to being fully fit and ready to contribute to the team.

“Shreyas was not available for this game because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today, he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 percent as of now. But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours, and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don’t think it is a worry for us,” said the captain.

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