When the BCCI announced India’s squad for the remaining three Tests of the five-match series against England on Saturday (February 10), there was a notable omission in it.
Middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer’s name didn’t feature in the 17-member squad. While the board didn’t offer any clarification regarding his non-selection, it is learnt that Iyer has been dropped from the side after a string of low scores.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Shreyas complained of back spasms after the second Test but an ESPNCricinfo report suggested that it was not serious enough to rule him out of the next three Tests in Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala.
According to the report, the right-hander was available for selection but the selectors overlooked following an extended lean patch.
Shreyas Iyer registered scores of 35, 13, 27 and 29 in the first two Tests against England in Hyderabad and Vizag. Before the England series, he featured in two Tests during the tour of South Africa, where he returned with knocks of 31, 6, 0 and 4*.
BCCI’s press release related to the squad announcement mentioned that star batter Virat Kohli was unavailable for selection for the remainder of the series due to personal reasons. It also stated that KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja have been included in the side subject to fitness clearance.
However, there was no mention of Iyer and his injury, which indicates that the Mumba batter has been axed from the team.
"If Shreyas was to be rested because of injury, the BCCI medical bulletin would have had an update. Since there are no updates, it can be concluded that he has got the axe," a source was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
As per the PTI report, Shreyas Iyer might not be considered for the longer version of the game in near future as he has always been susceptible against short ball, a weakness.
India are due to tour Australia for five Tests later this year and Iyer, with his technique, unlikely to get the selectors' nod for games on tracks offering steep bounce.
Meanwhile, Rajat Patidar and Sarfaraz Khan retained their place in the Test squad for the remainder of the series against England. Patidar made his debut in Vizag and he is likely to get another opportunity in the third Test in Rajkot, slated to start on February 15. Sarfaraz will also remain in the scheme of things with Rahul's participation not guaranteed.