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Iyer Had Played Ranji Trophy, Not Like He Refused To Play at All: Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar pointed out that Shreyas Iyer did play in the Ranji Trophy before India's series against England.

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Legendary India batter Sunil Gavaskar has come out in defence of Shreyas Iyer after the right-handed batter was denied a central contract for the 2023/24 season by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), pointing out that he had featured in the Ranji Trophy before the ongoing Test series against England began.

On 28 February, Iyer and Kishan were not included in the 30-member BCCI Central Contracts list running from 1 October 2023 to 30 September 2024, with the governing body saying the duo were not recommended for the annual retainership. In the previous season, Iyer held a Grade B contract, while Kishan had a Grade C contract.

Iyer had played Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy match against Andhra at the BKC Ground in January before the Tests against England began. But Iyer hadn’t left a mark in the first two Tests against England, making scores of 35 and 13 in Hyderabad, followed by scoring 27 and 29 in Visakhapatnam.
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Later, Iyer was left out of India’s squad for the last three Tests against England and had pulled out of Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Baroda due to a back issue. As of now, Iyer is playing for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy semifinal against Tamil Nadu, where he was dismissed for just three in the first innings.

On the other hand, Kishan had been out of action after pulling out of India’s Tests against South Africa last year due to personal reasons. He was reported to be training in Baroda and missed the entire Ranji Trophy campaign for Jharkhand. He recently returned to action at the ongoing DY Patil T20 tournament in Navi Mumbai.

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"Iyer had also played in the Ranji Trophy game as asked by the Indian team management just before this Test series started, so it’s not as if he has refused to play the Ranji Trophy at all. He did miss the quarterfinals, but that was also the time he had informed the team management of his inability to play the third Test match due to some pain in his back if he batted for some length of time," wrote Gavaskar in his column for Mid-Day.

"However, the trainers at the NCA certified that his markers were clean, and they found him fit to play. That seemed to have gone against Iyer. Threshold of pain is an individual thing and no trainer can judge that," he further added.

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Gavaskar Pleased With Determination Shown by Shubman Gill & Dhruv Jurel

Talking about India taking an unassailable 3-1 lead via the five-wicket win in the fourth Test at Ranchi, thanks to a gritty 72-run stand between Dhruv Jurel and Shubman Gill, Gavaskar emphatically lavished praise on the youngsters for stepping up in a pressure situation.

"There’s been attacking, aggressive batting from England and some good old fashioned Test match batting from India that helped them to reduce the deficit in the first innings at Ranchi to just 46 when it could well have been another 100 more runs and then again in the second innings, there was great application and determination shown by the two youngsters, Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel that took India home to a 3-1 lead," wrote Gavaskar.

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Topics:  BCCI   SUNIL GAVASKAR   Shreyas Iyer 

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