Ravindra Jadeja to join India squad in Nagpur, Shreyas Iyer yet to clear fitness test

India’s star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a successful return to first-class cricket in the Ranji Trophy, playing a vital role for Saurashtra against Tamil Nadu

India’s star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is all set to link up with the national squad to prepare for the blockbuster series against Australia consisting of four Test matches for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 starting on February 9 in Nagpur, where the team will be holding a preparatory camp. 

However, there will be some concerns in the batting department as the reliable middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer is yet to clear his fitness test, having been ruled out of the recent ODI and T20I series at home against New Zealand. The right-handed batsman continues his recovery from a stiff back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bangalore.

Ravindra Jadeja, who has been out of action since the T20 World Cup last year owing to a knee injury that he had suffered during the Asia Cup 2022 in the UAE, had played a Ranji trophy match for Saurashtra against Tamil Nadu in Chennai last week. 

The left-arm spin bowling all-rounder, who has also proved his mettle with the bat in recent years, sent down a total of 41.1 overs and also claimed a 7-wicket haul in the second innings, which was certainly assuring for the Indian team management since he had not played any form of cricket since September last year. 

Ravindra Jadeja had also undergone a surgery on his right knee in September 2022 which had kept him away from top-flight action including the recent white-ball home series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand, the away tour of Bangladesh consisting two Test matches – he was initially named in the squad but was eventually withdrawn – and an ODI series which India lost to the Tigers, as well as the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, in order to monitor Ravindra Jadeja’s fitness accurately and closely, one of BCCI’s physios had travelled with him to Chennai. The star all-rounder is now back at the NCA in Bangalore to prepare for the Test series against Australia and clear his final round of fitness tests. 

On the other hand, the right-handed dependable middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, who played a crucial role with the bat in the two-match Test series in Bangladesh in December, will have to spend more time at the NCA before getting his fitness clearance. 

It is reported that Shreyas Iyer has recently been given an injection at the NCA in Bangalore to help him deal with the swelling on his lower back.

Shreyas Iyer is almost a certainty to feature in the Indian middle-order provided he is fit for the Test series against Australia, in which he will be competing for a spot with the likes of uncapped Suryakumar Yadav and opening batsman Shubman Gill, given that the team might revert to their preferred opening pair of captain Rohit Sharma and his deputy KL Rahul, who had done a fantastic job at the top in testing conditions in England in 2021.

The report also added that Shreyas Iyer remains optimistic to make it to the Indian side on time for the first Test against Australia, but the BCCI medical staff wants to be 100 percent sure that there is no pain in his back before he is allowed to travel to Nagpur and join India’s preparatory camp which starts on February 2.