'Iyer should get replaced in World Cup squad': Gautam Gambhir blasts NCA in brutal warning to Rohit, Dravid
Gautam Gambhir sent out an ultimatum to the team management while making an "unfortunate" remark on Iyer and his spot in the World Cup.
Despite India ticking all the right boxes en route to their perfectly timed Asia Cup title haul in Colombo on Sunday, the team management has been fretting over the injury concerns that bother the side with less than three weeks left for the start of their ODI World Cup campaign at home. India head coach Rahul Dravid, earlier in the day, warned the side that injuries so close to the tournament "may cost them the World Cup", while captain Rohit Sharma provided an update on both Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel. But batting legend Gautam Gambhir sent out an ultimatum to the team management while making an "unfortunate" remark on Iyer and his spot in the World Cup.
The India No. 4 has been out of the side since March this year when he had suffered a lower back stress. He later skipped the entire IPL season owing to a surgery he underwent and also missed the WTC final and the tour of West Indies. Iyer spent his days at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru post his surgery and later went through match simulations and practice games to prove his worth for the Asia Cup and World Cup.
However, after making just one appearance in Asia Cup, Iyer was sidelined yet again with a back spasm and since then remained on the bench for the entirety of the tournament.
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Unimpressed with Iyer's being benched for the final against Sri Lanka, Gambhir, in conversation with Star Sports at the start of the match on Sunday, opined that the India batter should get replaced in the World Cup squad having not performed in Asia Cup and India unsure over his form.
"It is a concern. You were out for such a lengthy time and then you return for Asia Cup, play one match and then again become unfit. I don't think after this team management will pick up him for such a big tournament. You will see in the coming days that Iyer won't be part of the World Cup squad and someone will be replacing him. You should always go into a World Cup with fit players. Performance is a different thing. Imagine if a player suffers from a spasm or some other thing then you cannot find a replacement. So if Iyer hasn't been fit in this tournament then it is very difficult for him to be part of the World Cup because of his injury and then we don't even know how is form is presently. Whatever his form was, it was 7-8 months back after which he only played in one game. So it is unfortunate," he said.
Gambhir further added that the team management should rather question the NCA over Iyer's repeated back injury.
He said: "If questions are to be raised then ask the NCA because that is where he was all these months and then got a clearance from there as well. Who knows maybe they cleared him too quickly?"
Earlier on Sunday, after India's win against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma had revealed that did not tick off certain parameters set for him, hence he was not included in the XI.
"Shreyas was not available for this game because certain parameters were kept for him to tick off. I think today, he completed most of it. I should say he is alright 99 percent as of now. But he looks good, he batted and fielded for long hours, and he was on the ground long before we came to the ground. I don't think it is a worry for us," said the captain.