Key Indian batsman Shreyas Iyer, who has been sidelined with a back injury since the fourth and final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, is likely to undergo surgery, according to a report. This will put him out of action for at least five months and puts paid to his chances of participating in the ICC World Test Championship Final and the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The 28-year-old batsman was advised surgery after he met a Mumbai-based doctor for the third time, India Today sources said. The surgery is expected to be conducted either in India itself or in London with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) keeping a close watch over proceedings.
Iyer, however, would be in contention for a place in the Indian side for the ICC World Cup that is to be played in October-November, but it remains to be seen if he will be rushed into action right after recovering from surgery.
India are slated to play Australia in the World Test Championship Final from June 7-11 at the Oval in London. The IPL starts on March 31 and in Iyer’s absence, his luckless franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be forced to look for a new captain.
Earlier, Cricbuzz reported that the batsman had consulted noted spine specialist Dr Abhay Nene, and that the tests conducted on him were not encouraging. However, he was till then not officially ruled out of the IPL.
“The results of the initial scans were found to be bad and he was straightaway withdrawn from participating further in the Ahmedabad Test. After returning to his hometown, Mumbai, Iyer consulted specialist Abhay Nene, an expert with Bombay and Lilavati hospitals in the city, who treats spine complications.
“Nene is believed to have advised Iyer to undergo the normal procedure that is advised in such situations - rest and rehab. He was told to come back after 10 days and Iyer may know in the next few days about his immediate and long-term future," the report said.
Iyer has been a crucial part of India’s ODI set-up in recent times and has scored 1,631 runs at an average of about 47 and a strike rate of nearly 97 in 42 matches. In 10 Test matches, he has scored 666 runs, including a debut century against New Zealand in Kanpur. In the IPL, he has amassed 2,776 runs so far with a strike rate of 125.38.
“It is going to impact. Obviously, we are going to miss him but we will have to slowly start finding solutions if he is not around (for a long time)," stand-in India skipper Hardik Pandya said at a press conference ahead of the first ODI of the ongoing series against Australia in Mumbai.
The KKR have already been looking at various options to replace Iyer as captain for the upcoming season of the IPL. “Yes, there are other players too in our team who can carry out that role (of a captain). It’s just that one has to have different skills and experience, which go on to matter,” KKR coach Chandrakant Pandit told The Calcutta Telegraph.
Iyer is the second important member of the Indian team who would be missing marquee action with ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah also sidelined since the latter part of last year with back problems.
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