Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has confirmed that batter Shreyas Iyer has fully recovered from his previous injury and is ready to showcase his prowess on the field during 2023 Asia Cup. Dravid confirmed this during a press conference in Bengaluru on Tuesday, where he also provided updates on other key players’ fitness statuses and team dynamics.
Dravid’s optimism was palpable as he revealed that Iyer’s rigorous training had culminated in ticking all the required boxes, including batting and fielding drills. While the batter had missed out on game time due to his rehabilitation, Dravid expressed confidence that Iyer’s skills would shine through when he takes the field in the Asia Cup.
“Shreyas Iyer is fully fit, he has ticked all the boxes – batted and fielded a lot in the camp. The only thing he has missed is the game time. Looked pretty good, and it will be all about giving him more game time, hopefully, it will come in the Asia Cup. In terms of fitness, he has done really well, has batted really well,” Dravid said.
Also See: India’s Schedule at Asia Cup 2023
Iyer’s journey to full fitness has been commendable, considering the challenges he faced due to a recurring lower-back injury. A bulging disc in his lower back led to the batter’s withdrawal from the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in March. He subsequently underwent surgery in London in May, setting the stage for his remarkable recovery and imminent return to the cricketing arena.
While Iyer’s readiness to participate in the Asia Cup is a positive development for Team India, Dravid confirmed that wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul would be unavailable for the first two matches of the tournament, against Pakistan and Nepal. Rahul’s recovery from a niggle remains on track, and he will be supervised by the National Cricket Academy (NCA) until September 4.
“He (KL Rahul) had a good week with us, he is progressing really well on the route that we want to take, but he will be unavailable for the first part of the Kandy leg of the trip. The NCA will be looking after him while we are travelling. We will reassess him on the fourth (September 4) and we will take it from there. The signs are good and he is progressing really well,” Dravid explained.
Dravid also addressed the speculation surrounding the No.4 and 5 batting positions in the team. He clarified that despite the discussions, the team had always been clear on considering Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and Rishabh Pant for those positions. However, the unfortunate sequence of injuries that sidelined these players in a short span was beyond calculation.
India squad for Asia Cup: Rohit Sharma (C), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami and Prasidh Krishna.