File photo of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer
As India captain Rohit Sharma announced the team for the Asia Cup Super 4 clash against Pakistan, there was no place for Shreyas Iyer, who had apparently injured himself ahead of the match. While Ishan Kishan kept hold of his spot in the team, KL Rahul came in as a replacement for Iyer, who was out due to back spasms. Former India stars Harbhajan Singh and Sunil Gavaskar expressed grave worry over Iyer’s absence as he has spent most of this year on the sidelines due to injuries.
Gavaskar, sharing his opinion on the topic, said that the fact that Iyer has injured himself again is a big worry as he has already been out for 5-6 months. While the injury doesn’t seem long-term, Gavaskar is happy that the ICC allows teams to make changes to their World Cup squads in case a player becomes unavailable.
“It’s a worry definitely. If a player is out for 5-6 months due to an injury and then has it again with a month before the World Cup, so yes it is an area of concern. Luckily, you can make changes in your World Cup team, and in case he is unfit and doesn’t recover then there will be somebody who will replace him. It is sad because he looked good in that match against Pakistan. He played a lovely cover drive,” he said on Sports Today.
Harbhajan, however, made a bold statement when reacting on Iyer’s absence, suggesting it could be a move from the team to accommodate Rahul in the playing XI. Bhajji even raised questions on the physios at the National Cricket Academy, questioning the frequency with which the players are getting injured.
“Injuries are part and parcel of the game. But getting injured that often is either bad luck or you are making a position for KL Rahul. I think getting injured at this point in time is going to hurt his position in the team as well and make things correct for KL Rahul. It is very worrying that players are getting injured again and again and it is mostly to do with the kind of training they do. So that is the question NCA needs to answer because that is where players go and rehabilitate and train themselves. And what KL Rahul brings to this table is stability in the batting line-up,” he said.
There were question marks on Rahul’s place in the team considering the form Ishan has been in over the last 5-6 games. It would be interesting to see how the team management looks to resolve the No. 5 dilemma for the World Cup.
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