The biggest argument surrounding Shreyas Iyer‘s absence from Ranji Trophy action after being dropped from the Indian Test side during the series against England, which cost him the BCCI contract, was his back injury. While the board did not reveal any reason behind Iyer being removed from the Indian team, reports revealed that Iyer did not turn up for Mumbai’s next few Ranji Trophy games owing to a back spasm. The confusion, however, arose with the National Cricket Academy declaring him fit, leading to the BCCI selection committee fuming at Iyer as the middle-order batter was later spotted at Kolkata Knight Riders Academy in Mumbai. However, a fresh report from the KKR camp revealed a different story.

KL Rahul has been placed in Grade A in BCCI's annual retainership.
KL Rahul has been placed in Grade A in BCCI’s annual retainership.

Speaking to Revsportz, an insider explained that Iyer went to the KKR academy after being dropped from the Indian Test team to work on his injury, which was earlier mentioned by franchise coach Chandrakant Pandit as well. He further added that Mumbai Cricket Association were made aware of Iyer’s act and team head coach Omkar Salvi often visited the camp to check on his progress.

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“After playing 60 balls in a session, his back was building spasms. He had to build up his resistance. Now he is playing 200 balls per session. In three weeks, he has put on three kilos of muscles. The Mumbai Cricket Association and the Mumbai team head coach (Omkar Salvi) have been kept in the loop. In fact, the Mumbai coach visited the KKR Academy several times to monitor Iyer’s progress. And now he has made himself available for the Ranji Trophy semi-final against Tamil Nadu,” the person told the website on anonymity.

The source further spoke about how Iyer had taken pain-killer injections during the ODI World Cup and later battled through back pain yet again after it resurfaced during the semifinal and final. Iyer was among the few players without a break post the ICC tournament. He played in the T20I series at home against Australia, travelled to South Africa for the limited-overs contest and Test series before playing in Ranji Trophy to gear up for the Tests against England.

He said: “Iyer skipped the IPL to play the World Cup. Even after the surgery, he took three cortisone injections to be pain-free for the World Cup. And yet, the pain returned during the semi-final and the final, and he played through it. Iyer was the only player who wasn’t given a break after the World Cup. He played the home T20I series against Australia and then went to South Africa. After returning from South Africa, he was asked to play a Ranji game in January, ahead of the first two Tests against England. He did that. Doesn’t a player have the liberty to train under a coach of his choice?”

Speaking further on the topic, the source raised a hard-hitting question on KL Rahul’s last appearance in a Ranji Trophy match. “KL Rahul, too, went to London for the treatment of his quadriceps pain. Nobody has asked a question. And when was the last time Rahul turned up for a Ranji game? He is also an injury-prone cricketer who has missed series and matches. A player is the best judge in terms of assessing his body,” he added.

Rahul, who is currently recovering from a quadriceps injury, that saw him miss three Tests against England, last played a Ranji Trophy match four years back. The wicketkeeper-batter has been placed in Grade A in BCCI’s annual retainership.


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