Shreyas Iyer has rejoined the Mumbai Ranji Trophy squad ahead of their semi-final clash against Tamil Nadu at the MCA-BKC ground this Saturday. After being omitted from the Indian squad post the second Test versus England, Iyer opted out of the Ranji Trophy quarter-final against Baroda due to reported back discomfort. However, despite the National Cricket Academy’s head of sports science and medicine, Nitin Patel, confirming his fitness with no fresh injury concerns via email to selectors, Iyer chose to sit out.

Iyer’s return to the Mumbai squad coincides with a stern reminder from BCCI secretary Jay Shah, who cautioned centrally-contracted and A team players about the serious repercussions of abstaining from domestic cricket. This admonition follows wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan’s absence from Jharkhand’s matches after his withdrawal from the South Africa tour due to ‘personal reasons.’ Notably, Ishan was spotted training with his new Mumbai Indians captain, Hardik Pandya, in preparation for the forthcoming IPL season. (‘Insane,’ Fans In Shock As Mumbai’s No 10, 11 Batters Tushar Deshpande, Tanush Kotian Slam Historic Centuries In 232-Run Partnership For Last Wicket)

In his email, which was seen by The Indian Express, Patel had written: “Shreyas Iyer was fit and available for selection as per the handover report of the Indian team after the 2nd Test match against England. There are currently no fresh injuries reported as well after his departure from Team India.”

After consulting with the BCCI medical team, the national selectors advised Iyer to participate in the Ranji Trophy matches. This recommendation aimed to help him acclimate his back to the demands of batting and fielding for prolonged durations.

BCCI likely to increase pay of Test players: Report

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to increase the per match fees for Test matches and they will also reward the players who play all the Test series in the year, as per the sources in the board.

This decision has been taken after players like Shreyas Iyer and Ishan Kishan decided not to play for their states in the Ranji Trophy despite not being part of the India squad. Both players have opted out of domestic cricket in order to prepare themselves for the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Presently, the BCCI gives Rs 15 lakh per Test match to players. The governing body offers Rs 6 lakh for each One-Day International (ODI), and Rs 3 lakh for T20 International (T20I).

Recapping the fourth Test at Ranchi, England chose to bat first after winning the toss and closed their first innings at 353, riding majorly on a fine comeback century by premier batter and former skipper Joe Root (122* in 274 balls, 10 fours), a half-century from Ollie Robinson (58 in 96 balls, with nine fours and a six) and Ben Foakes (47 in 126 balls, with four boundaries and a six).

Ishan Kishan out for a 12-ball 19 on his return to action, in the DY Patil T20 Cup in Mumbai.
Shreyas Iyer, meanwhile, will play the Ranji Trophy semifinal for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu, starting March 2.

 Rahul Rawat (@rawatrahul9) February 27, 2024

Ravindra Jadeja (4/67) and Akash Deep (3/83) were the pick of the bowlers for India. (Neil Wagner Retires From International Cricket: Take A Look At His Top 5 Records And Achievements; In Pics)

India were bundled out for 307 in their first innings in reply to England’s 353. Despite Yashasvi Jaiswal (73 in 117 balls, with eight fours and a six) firing once again, India were reduced to 219/7 before Jurel (90 in 149 balls, with six fours and four sixes) joined forces with Kuldeep (28 in 131 balls) to stitch a 76-run stand for the eighth wicket and drag India past the 300-run mark.

Spinner Shoaib Bashir troubled Indian batters, picking up his maiden five-wicket haul (5/119). Tom Hartley (3/68) and James Anderson (2/48) also registered impressive figures. The lion-hearted rearguard effort by Jurel, in the company of the lower order, not only lifted India from the dumps but also helped reduce England’s first-inning lead to 46 runs.

In their second inning, England were shot out for just 145 runs, with Zak Crawley (60 in 91 balls, with seven fours) and Jonny Bairstow (30 in 42 balls, with three fours) offering some resistance. Spinners took all 10 wickets for India, with Ravichandran Ashwin (5/51) and Kuldeep Yadav (4/22) leading the bowling charts for the hosts.

Chasing 192 for an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, the hosts were off to a fine start, with skipper Rohit Sharma (55 in 81 balls, with five fours and a six) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37 in 44 balls, with five fours) putting on an 84-run opening stand.

However, that was before Bashir brought the visitors back into the game, picking up 3/79 and reducing India to 120/5. Thereafter, Shubman Gill (52* in 124 balls, with two sixes) and Dhruv Jurel (39* in 77 balls, with two fours) guided India to a series win by five wickets. India now lead the series 3-1.

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