Un­capped bats­man Iyer joins squad as back-up

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BEN­GALURU: In­dia have called up un­capped bats­man Shreyas Iyer for the fourth and fi­nal Test against Aus­tralia as cover for cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli who has not re­cov­ered fully from a shoul­der in­jury.

Kohli dam­aged his right shoul­der when div­ing to save a bound­ary on the first day of the penul­ti­mate Test in Ranchi and was off the field dur­ing most of Aus­tralia’s first in­nings in the drawn game.

The 28-year-old did come out to bat at his usual num­ber four po­si­tion and took the field for Aus­tralia’s sec­ond in­nings. There is no sug­ges­tion he has yet been ruled out of the win­ner­takes-all fourth Test in Dharamsala.

“Shreyas Iyer is join­ing the squad as back-up,” an In­dian cricket board (BCCI) source said.

In­dia’s bat­ting main­stay Kohli has scored only 46 runs in his five in­nings against Aus­tralia af­ter scor­ing a dou­ble cen­tury in each of the pre­vi­ous four se­ries.

The de­ci­sion to call up Iyer has more to do with the dif­fi­culty in­volved in fly­ing out a last-minute re­place­ment to Dharamsala, which is sit­u­ated in the Hi­malayan foothills.

Iyer, 22, was Mum­bai’s high­est scor­ing bats­man in the 2016-17 Ranji Tro­phy and struck an un­beaten 202 in a first-class match for In­dia A against Aus­tralia last month.

The four-match se­ries is level at 1-1 go­ing into the de­cider which starts to­day. Reuters

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