Shreyas Iyer thanks NCA staff following return from injury to Asia Cup squad
He has scored two centuries and five half-centuries at that spot, with the best score of 113*.
NEW DELHI: Indian batter Shreyas Iyer extended his thanks to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) staff who helped him find his way back into the Indian cricket team for the Asia Cup 2023 after a back injury. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday announced a strong 17-member squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023 which will begin on August 30 with Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul returning to the squad and Tilak Verma also getting a place in the team
Iyer took to Instagram to thank everyone who helped him behind the scenes to make his comeback into the team just in time for two crucial tournaments, i.e. the Asia Cup and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India from October 5 onwards.
"Been a long journey but I'm super grateful to the people who stood by my side to help me to get where I am today. Thank you Nitin bhai, Rajini sir and everyone at The NCA, who've been tirelessly helping me. Much love and much appreciated," said the caption of Iyer's Instagram post.
Iyer's return to the national side is extremely good news for Men in Blue, who are looking towards him and KL Rahul to provide stability to the team's middle order, which was filled by likes of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Axar Patel, Sanju Samson etc in their absence. He will be looking to fill up the number four position. At number four, Iyer has played 20 innings, scoring 805 runs at an average of 47.35 and a strike rate of 94.37. He has scored two centuries and five half-centuries at that spot, with the best score of 113*.
Notably, Iyer was Men in Blue's leading run-scorer across all formats last year. Iyer ended with 1,609 international runs at an average of 48.75 in 39 matches and 40 innings. He scored one century and 14 half-centuries this year, with a best of 113*. In five Test matches last year, Iyer scored 422 runs across eight innings at an average of 60.28, with four half-centuries.
He ends the year with the best Test score of 92. In 17 ODIs last year, he scored 724 runs at an average of 55.69. He was extremely consistent in the format, scoring one century and six half-centuries in his 15 innings, with the best score of 113*. Iyer showed his top form in T20Is too, scoring 463 runs at an average of 35.61 and striking at a strike rate of 141.15.
Four half-centuries came out of his bat in the 20-over format in 2022, with best score of 74*. The 2023 Asia Cup will be co-hosted by Pakistan and Sri Lanka with the tournament running from August 30 to September 17. Asia Cup will serve as an important benchmark for India’s preparations for the World Cup starting in October and will also help selectors make choices for the marquee event.
India will open their Asia Cup campaign with an iconic clash against Pakistan on September 2 in Kandy, Sri Lanka. Star all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed Rohit Sharma's deputy in Asia Cup 2023. The squad also marks the return of Jasprit Bumrah to ODI cricket after a gap of more than one year.
After proving his fitness in the ongoing T20I series against Ireland, Bumrah is set to test himself in the 50-over format heading into the World Cup. India's pace attack will be boosted by the return of Mohammed Siraj, who was not in the team for some time due to a sore ankle.
Tilak Varma made it to India's Asia Cup squad on the back of his strong performance against West Indies during the tour that ended this month. Bowling all-rounders Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel are also in the squad to give the captain more diversity in choices.
Apart from Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja is also in the team as an all-rounder. Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.
The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours, beginning September 6. The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.
Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna.