Shreyas Iyer has joined the West Zone squad for the Duleep Trophy final against South Zone, which begins from Wednesday at the SNR College Cricket Ground in Coimbatore.
West Zone will also be bolstered by Sarfaraz Khan and Priyank Panchal, who have joined the team after plying their trade for India A in three unofficial Tests against New Zealand A.
With Prithvi Shaw and Rahul Tripathi missing the final due to an India ‘A’ call-up for the three one-dayers against New Zealand ‘A’, Iyer and Sarfaraz's inclusion will come as a huge boost for West Zone.
Iyer, who was initially named in the squad for the Duleep Trophy, was rested for the semifinal against Central Zone, which ended on Sunday. Earlier, he had missed the quarterfinal against Northeast Zone as he was one of India’s standby players for the Asia Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
The 27-year-old will have a point to prove ahead of a full-fledged domestic season. Earlier this month, Iyer was named as a standby player for the T20 World Cup in Australia and missed the cut for the home T20I series against Australia and South Africa, which begins on September 20.
With India scheduled to play two Tests in Bangladesh in November and four home Tests against Australia early next year, the domestic red-ball season will assume greater significance for Iyer as he looks to cement his spot in the middle-order. Spin-friendly conditions in Bangladesh and India could work in favour of Iyer, who is proficient against turn.
At the same time, his shortcomings against the short ball were exploited in the rearranged fifth Test against England in Birmingham, and he only managed scores of 15 and 19. However, Iyer will take confidence from his stellar record at home, where he averages 55.42 in four Tests.
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