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Shreyas Iyer called as backup for Virat Kohli for the 4th test

Shreyas Iyer, who represent Mumbai in the Ranji trophy has been called up to Dharamsala for the fourth test match of the ongoing test series as cover for Virat Kohli. The Indian skipper still hasn’t completely recovered from his shoulder injury.

Even as the team management maintained that Iyer is cover – and not a replacement – for Kohli, there are doubts that the team is sweating over the fitness of the Indian captain. Kohli took a pain-killing injection two days before the Test and did not bat in the nets.

Iyer is expected to join the Indian cricket team on Friday, the eve of the match. He has recently scored a hundred for India A against the touring Bangladesh side in Hyderabad and also scored an unbeaten double hundred against Australia in a tour game last month.

A BCCI source said that Iyer is a backup plan only and more details on Virat Kohli will be available tomorrow. Right now there is uncertainty looming over his participation in the fourth test match which begins in 2 days time. In case Kohli is unable to play, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane will lead the side.

Virat Kohli had hurt his shoulder while diving in an effort to stop a boundary on the first day of the third test match in Ranchi. He was unable to take the field for the rest of Australia’s first innings but batted at his usual No. 4 slot. He came back to field in the second innings. To protect his shoulder from a serious injury he fielded at slip position even against the spinners rather than his usual station in the covers or midwicket.

Meanwhile, Shreyas Iyer was initially named in the India Blue squad for the domestic Deodhar Trophy one-day tournament which was scheduled begin on Saturday in Visakhapatnam. He had a wonderful first-class season in 2015-16 where he had scored 1321 runs and ended up as the leading scorer in the Ranji Trophy. He finished the season as Mumbai’s highest run-getter (725 runs at 42.94, including two hundred) in Ranji Trophy 2016-17.

There is also a concern over the fitness of fast bowler Mohammed Shami. He bowled for close to half an hour at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium nets on Thursday. he injured his right leg in the series against England and is out of international action since then. He is not part of the squad but has been travelling with the team. Meanwhile, he has played two 50-over games for Bengal in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.

The pitch at Dharamshala has a bit of grass on it and is expected to help the fast bowlers. If fit, Shami could be a huge factor in the decider match of the four-match series which currently hangs in balance with a scoreline of 1-1.

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