Showing gratitude after making a return to the Indian side for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 in Sri Lanka, a fit-again Shreyas Iyer had thanked the support staff of the Cricket Academy (NCA) for rallying behind the star cricketer during the testing times. Eager to solve India’s No.4 conundrum in the showpiece event, middle-order batter Iyer was picked alongside former vice-captain KL Rahul in the Asia Cup squad on Monday.
While Rahul is carrying a niggle, Iyer was declared fully fit by chief selector Ajit Agarkar, who announced India’s 17-man squad in his first-ever press conference since taking charge. India were halfway through the high-profile Border-Gavaskar when Iyer was ruled out of the series due to a recurring back injury. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper had missed the entire Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He was also unavailable for the World Test Championship final against Australia.
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‘Shreyas Iyer smashed bowlers at NCA’
Before being added to India’s Asia Cup squad, Iyer worked on his fitness and the star batter also took part in match simulations at the NCA. According to a report filed by the Times of India, Iyer managed to convince selectors by playing a sublime knock in a warm-up match. “He smashed the bowlers at the National Cricket Academy, scoring 199 in a practice tie. To provide the selectors with more evidence of his fitness, he then fielded for the entire 50 overs of that match, which was held at the Just Cricket Academy in Bangalore 3-4 days back,” a source in the BCCI was quoted as saying.
Earlier, superstar Rishabh Pant had shared an unseen video of Rahul and Iyer batting in full flow at the NCA. Undergoing rehab at the NCA, Iyer and Rahul took part in strength and fitness drills before the duo was picked for the Asia Cup. “For the past two months, he has been stationed at the NCA in Bangalore, focusing on his recovery. It’s all come together nicely for him,” the source added.