Rohit Sharma, the captain of India, stated that Shreyas Iyer is 99 percent healthy and that his recent injury setback poses no concern for the World Cup. Iyer returned for the 2023 Asia Cup after a prolonged absence caused by a back injury that required surgery. But after batting in a solitary innings, he suffered a bout of back spasm five minutes before toss in the ‘Super Four’ encounter against Pakistan and didn’t feature in the remainder of India’s triumphant campaign.
Before he can return to the playing eleven, the middle-order batsman has met the majority of the team’s fitness requirements, as disclosed by Rohit. “I am aware of what is occurring with Shreyas. He was unavailable for this [the championship] game. There were certain criteria that he was required to check off. I believe he completed most of it today. I would estimate that he is currently fine 99 percent of the time. But he is handsome. Before our arrival today, he batted and fielded for many hours, and he was on the ground. Therefore, he looks fine at this moment. After India’s 10-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the final, the Indian captain stated, “Therefore, I don’t think it’s a concern for us.”
India’s final assignment before the World Cup is a three-match ODI series against Australia, which begins on September 22 in Mohali. While Iyer is expected to play in this series, the prognosis for another injured player, Axar Patel, is not as optimistic. Rohit anticipates that the left-arm spinner may miss the first two matches of the Australia series due to a quadriceps injury sustained in the loss to Bangladesh.
“Axar… I’m not sure. You know he had a small tear. Looks like maybe a week or 10 days, I don’t know,” Rohit said. “We just have to wait and see how that injury progresses. Because every individual is different, some guys recover quickly. I’m hoping with Axar that’s the case. We’ll wait and see what happens with him. I’m not too sure whether he’ll be okay to play against Australia in the first two games at home. But we’ll wait and see.”
In the absence of Axar, India quickly drafted Washington Sundar for the final. And Rohit stated that Washington and his Tamil Nadu teammate Ravichandran Ashwin were still in the running for the spinning all-rounder position should Axar be replaced. During the pre-Asia Cup press conference, the Indian captain acknowledged that he would have preferred an off-spinner in the squad for tactical purposes, and he has now confirmed that he has spoken with Ashwin.
“See, with the spinner all-rounder… I think everyone is in the line,” Rohit said. “Honestly speaking, Ashwin as well. I’ve been talking to him on the phone. He’s very much in the line. Washy as well. We want those guys who can do the job with the ball and with the bat as well.
“Honestly, that injury to Axar happened very late in the night and then we had to call a few guys to see where they’re at. Washy was available so we had to get him to come in and play the role and perform the job for us. Luckily, he was with the squad for the Asian Games in Bangalore. He was training, he was bowling. He was cricket-fit, he was spending a lot of time on the field. So, we had to get him.
“But yeah, I’ve been very clear with certain guys who can come and play certain roles and I’ve been talking to everyone, I don’t want to take names. Everyone is aware of what’s happening. Nobody is kept in the dark about what we’re doing as a team. Everybody is kept in the loop.”