Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has been called into the Indian squad as a replacement for skipper Virat Kohli ahead of the fourth Test between India and Australia at Dharamsala. Kohli, who injured his right shoulder in the third Test in Ranchi, is yet to recover from the injury. This is the first time the right-handed batsman is called up to represent the Indian team.
On the eve of the match, Kohli skipped the nets session even as the Indian team hit the ground running at the venue earlier today. He was present with his teammates for the entire session and even took few throwdowns but did not quite enter the nets in a bid to be careful before the start of the series decider. It is not yet known whether Kohli will be a part of the Indian XI and the chances of him participating in the match depend on the fitness Test which he will be undertaking tomorrow.
Kohli hurt his shoulder when he dived to stop the ball from going to the boundary ropes on the first day in Ranchi. He was taken off the field immediately and spent the rest of Australia's first innings in the dressing room. There were a lot of uncertainties over his batting position but the skipper walked out to bat at his usual No. 4 slot and also was in the field throughout Australia’s the second innings.
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“It made sense to have a back-up batsman because in case of a contingency it is very difficult to reach a place like Dharamsala. We will know more on Virat tomorrow,” a BCCI source told ESPNcricinfo.
Hearing that Virat Kohli may not be fully fit for the last Test. SOS sounded in Indian camp. Shreyas Iyer to reach #Dharamsala tomorrow.— Noel D'Souza (@Noel2589) March 23, 2017
Iyer is expected to join the team on Friday, the eve of the match when greater clarity on Kohli's fitness is expected. This is a well-deserved call-up for Iyer, who was in sensational form in the Indian domestic circuit for the past couple of years. He has been averaging over 50 in the last 3 domestic First-Class season and recently scored centuries for India A against the visiting Bangladesh and Australian teams. Iyer looked confident and scored a double-hundred when he was playing for India A against the Australian side before the start of this series.