KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer has been deemed fit to play in IPL 2024, although there’s an important cautionary note to consider

KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer has been deemed fit to play in IPL 2024

Shreyas Iyer has joined the Kolkata Knight Riders and commenced training for the upcoming IPL season. The middle-order batter for Team India has been declared fit following some discomfort he experienced in his back during the Ranji Trophy final against Vidarbha. Although he missed out on a century in the second innings of the final and didn’t take the field on the last two days of the match, he’s now back in action. Iyer participated in an intra-squad T20 match on Sunday after joining the Kolkata Knight Riders camp on Saturday.

According to a report in the Indian Express, the KKR skipper consulted a spine specialist in Mumbai and then visited the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore. The doctor declared him fit to play but advised caution, particularly regarding stretching his leg too far forward while defending the ball.

“He is fit to play. A specialist spine doctor in Mumbai advised him not to stretch his leg too far forward while defending the ball. He has joined the IPL franchise KKR and is ready to play,” a source told the Indian Express.

Iyer has been closely monitored due to his recurring back discomfort. He first reported a back injury during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy last year, which led to surgery and forced him to miss IPL 2022. However, he made a successful comeback to the Indian team during the Asia Cup 2023, scoring 530 runs as the hosts finished as runners-up.

The 29-year-old experienced discomfort again during the Test series against England and was subsequently ruled out of India’s squad after the Vizag Test match against England.

Ranji Trophy Conundrum and Central Contract Omission

Following his exclusion from India’s Test squad, Iyer defied the BCCI’s directive to participate in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinals. Despite being declared fit by the NCA, he claimed back stiffness. This decision led to repercussions, with the BCCI removing him from the annual central contract list. In just about six months, Iyer, who was a crucial member of India’s ODI World Cup team, found himself marginalized.

To rectify his error, Iyer later rejoined the Mumbai team for the semi-final and subsequently played in the final. However, except for his performance in the second innings of the final, he struggled significantly against pacers during the Ranji Trophy. His weakness against short balls has become apparent, as pacers consistently tested him in this aspect.

Return to IPL 2024

The dynamic batsman was sidelined during the last IPL season due to a back injury, and recent concerns about his fitness have raised doubts about his participation in the IPL 2024 season. However, news of his reported clearance by the doctor would come as a significant relief for both him and the franchise.

During his absence, Nitish Rana led the Kolkata-based franchise in the previous season, where they finished fifth on the points table. The two-time champions have also welcomed back their former captain Gautam Gambhir in the role of mentor to provide guidance to Iyer and the team in their quest to revive the franchise’s past glories.

KKR is set to kick off their IPL 2024 campaign against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens on March 23rd.

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