Former Pakistani cricketer Wasim Akram has expressed his belief that Shreyas Iyer could face significant challenges when attempting to secure a return to the Indian cricket team’s playing XI. This assessment comes in the wake of Iyer missing several matches during the Asia Cup 2023 due to recurring back issues.
After a five-month hiatus, Shreyas Iyer returned to the Indian team for the Asia Cup 2023. He played a match against Pakistan in the group stage but could only manage 14 runs. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury just minutes before the Super Four clash, resulting in his replacement by KL Rahul, who went on to score a splendid century against Pakistan. Subsequently, Iyer did not participate in any other matches during the tournament, with both KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan filling crucial roles in his absence.
Ishan Kishan, in particular, made a notable impact, scoring 82 runs against Pakistan in the group stage and contributing an unbeaten 23 runs as an opener alongside Shubman Gill in the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka. His performances demonstrated his ability to bat effectively as either an opener or in the middle order for the Indian team.
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During a discussion on Star Sports about the India vs. Sri Lanka final, Wasim Akram acknowledged the challenge Shreyas Iyer could face in making a comeback to the team or the playing XI.
“I guess it was at the last minute (Shreyas got back spasms). He had it at the last minute just before the game. And, I think KL Rahul played for him and he went on to score a hundred against Pakistan. Of course, it will be tough for him to make a comeback and play in the eleven to start off with. Now you have to play with the players who actually got runs in the middle order and present form,” commented the former Pakistani fast bowler.
Shreyas Iyer has encountered numerous setbacks this year due to his recurring back injury. He was sidelined during the India vs. Australia series in March due to back issues, eventually undergoing surgery in April 2023. After completing a rehabilitation program, the right-handed batsman made his return in the Asia Cup 2023 but was able to participate in just one match before experiencing a recurrence of his back problem.
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