India middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer is a doubtful starter for the first Test against Australia due his back injury. Iyer is likely to miss the Border-Gavaskar series opener in Nagpur with Shubman Gill likely to be included in his place in the Indian playing XI.
Injured Iyer has been out of action since the ODI series against Sri Lanka at home and last played for India on January 15. He was ruled out of the T20I and ODI series against New Zealand due to the same injury.
Iyer is currently recuperating at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
Captain Rohit Sharma and his deputy KL Rahul are all set to open the batting for India, followed by Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. If Iyer misses the cut then Shubman Gill might get the nod ahead of Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order.
Shubman Gill in the middle order
In case of Gill, being a Test regular and having originally started his red ball career as a middle order batter, certainly helps his case.
"When Rahul Dravid manned India A, Gill had played in middle order in a West Indies A tour where he had a double hundred in one of the Tests.
"To be fair, he was originally a middle order batter, who was converted into an opener," the former national selector said.
The first Test between India and Australia will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur, from February 9.
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