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Shreyas Iyer is expected to miss the first Test in Nagpur

According to Cricinfo, star Indian middle-order hitter Shreyas Iyer has been ruled out of the Test series opener against Australia in Nagpur. During his visit to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) on Wednesday, Iyer, who missed the ODI series against New Zealand due to a back issue, was urged to take his time.

Shreyas Iyer had a back injury in the build-up to the One-Day International series against New Zealand. He went to the NCA for rehabilitation and was recommended to remain in Bengaluru longer. But, this is really a precautionary measure, and the middle-order mainstay is expected to rejoin the group ahead of the second Test, which begins on February 17 in Delhi.

After playing in India’s two-match Test series against Bangladesh in December last year, the 28-year-old batting star developed a sore lower back. He went to the NCA for rehabilitation and returned to Mumbai after a week since he was scheduled to attend India’s training camp in Nagpur ahead of the crucial Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

But, the prolific hitter was unable to get a fitness clearance from the NCA, putting him out of the first Test against Australia. He was picked to the 17-man team for the series’ first two Tests and was expected to bat in the middle order for the Asian heavyweights.

The absence of Iyer in the first Test is a significant blow to the home team, who are considering numerous middle-order combinations, with KL Rahul expected to lower down the order to make room for Shubman Gill in the opening spot. Suryakumar Yadav, India’s T20 batting hero, has got his first Test call-up for the upcoming series and is expected to start the first Test in Nagpur.