After testing his match-fitness with a successful return to action in the Ranji Trophy, star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is set to join the India squad in Nagpur this week, ahead of the first Test against Australia, which begins on February 9. Jadeja played for Saurashtra in their final group-stage match against Tamil Nadu last week in Chennai and bowled 41.1 overs and bagged a seven-for in the second innings. Since undergoing surgery in his right knee in September, it was his first match.
Showcases top fitness in Ranji game
The 34-year old all-rounder, who was selected in India's Test squad subject to clearing fitness tests, said after that performance that he was hopeful and "good to go" for the Australia series.
To monitor Jadeja's fitness closely, one of the BCCI's physios travelled with him. The cricketer is now back at the NCA to complete his final round of fitness tests, an ESPNcricinfo report said.
The one-off Test against England in Birmingham in July 2022 was the last time Jadeja played a Test match. He experienced discomfort in his right knee, which has troubled him over the years, while playing in the Asia Cup in late August and was later ruled out of the T20 World Cup as well.
Iyer still in the red
Meanwhile, India batter Shreyas Iyer is yet to get a fitness clearance as he continues his recovery from a stiff back at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
Iyer, who was ruled out of the recent ODI series against New Zealand with a stiff back, has to spend a little more time at the NCA before getting his fitness clearance. It has been learnt that the batter was given an injection recently at the NCA to help combat swelling in his lower back.
If he gets his clearance, Iyer is a frontrunner for a middle-order slot against Australia. In his absence, the other contenders include Suryakumar Yadav, who is yet to make his Test debut, and possibly Shubman Gill in case India open with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.
It is understood Iyer remains optimistic and is on course towards being declared fit, but the BCCI's medical staff want to be sure that the cricekter has no pain in his back before he is cleared to travel to Nagpur and join India's preparatory camp, which begins on February 2.
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