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Shreyas Iyer to feature in Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy semi-final against TN

Shreyas Iyer will feature in the Ranji Trophy semi-final for Mumbai after recovering from back spasms that ruled him out of the quarter-final at home against Baroda. Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan also returned to competitive cricket on Tuesday, turning up for the Reserve Bank of India in the DY Patil T20 tournament – a popular corporate tournament featuring top domestic players – in Navi Mumbai.
Shivam Dube, however, will continue to sit out due to a side strain as he races against time to be fit for the IPL where he’ll play for Chennai Super Kings.
Iyer and Kishan came under the spotlight after India captain Rohit Sharma said on Monday that players who “have the hunger” to play and perform in Tests will be prioritised when it comes to selection. Iyer, who had been picked for the first two Tests of the ongoing five-match England series, was dropped for the final three Tests. Kishan’s case has become more curious after the Jharkhand and India wicketkeeper-batter took a personal break in late December and then opted not to play in Ranji Trophy. In the DY Patil T20 game, Kishan made 19 off 12 balls.
Iyer was meant to play the quarter-final, which Mumbai won on the basis of a first-innings lead, but had to miss the clash as a precautionary measure. This will be the second Ranji fixture for Iyer this season following the clash against Andhra in December ahead of the England series.

Iyer isn’t currently part of the Test squad after being left out following India’s series-levelling win in Visakhapatnam. He made scores of 29, 27, 13 and 35 in his last four Test innings. In Iyer’s absence, his Mumbai team-mate Sarfaraz Khan was awarded a Test cap in Rajkot, where he started with twin half-centuries.

Iyer’s participation is significant, considering it comes at a time when the BCCI has warned players of “severe implications” if they skip Test matches and domestic games to keep themselves ready for the IPL.
Iyer’s return for the semi-final against Tamil Nadu allays any fears over recurring injury concerns. He missed the IPL last year and subsequently underwent back surgery. He returned to the ODI set up ahead of the Asia Cup and was a key member of India’s World Cup squad that finished runners-up. Iyer made 530 runs in 11 innings, including two centuries and three half-centuries. He is set to lead Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2024, where he’ll team up with Chandrakant Pandit for the first time since he came on board as head coach. Knight Riders have also roped in former captain Gautam Gambhir in a mentorship role.

In Kishan’s absence, India first gave KS Bharat a Test recall, before handing a Test cap to Dhruv Jurel, who was named Player of the Match for his 90 and 39* in Ranchi that helped India take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series. Earlier this month, Kishan had been training with Hardik Pandya, his IPL captain, at a private facility in Baroda.

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