Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said that the National Cricket Academy (NCA) should be questioned for how Shreyas Iyer was cleared for a return when the batter got unfit soon after making his comeback in the Indian team in the recent Asia Cup 2023.
Gambhir also said that just based on one match, the Indian team cannot risk taking Shreyas Iyer for the World Cup tournament, especially when there is still doubt over his fitness.
Shreyas Iyer had been out of action since early this year due to back issues, which aggravated during the Australia Test series at home. Iyer then had to undergo back surgery and missed the IPL 2023. He rehabbed at the NCA and received the all-clear from the medical staff there.
He was included in the Indian squad for the Asia Cup 2023 and the World Cup 2023. However, he participated in two matches against Nepal and Pakistan and batted in only the Pakistan game.
He then experienced back spasms on the day of the Super 4s match against Pakistan and was replaced by KL Rahul in the side.
Gautam Gambhir sent out an ultimatum to the team management while making an "unfortunate" remark on Iyer and his spot in the World Cup. He said that the India batter should get replaced in the World Cup squad having not performed in the Asia Cup and India is unsure over his form.
"It is a concern. You were out for such a lengthy time and then you return for the 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 his 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 on Star Sports.
Gambhir further added that the team management should rather question the NCA over Iyer's repeated back injury.
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?"
Rohit Sharma had revealed that did not tick off certain parameters set for him, hence he was not included in the XI.
"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 right 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.