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Shreyas Iyer Returns to Ranji Trophy: A Stepping Stone Towards Test Success

Shreyas Iyer's return to Ranji Trophy marks an important stepping stone towards achieving success in test cricket. Explore the journey of this talented cricketer and his impact on the prestigious Ranji Trophy competition.

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By Mystic Vivan
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Shreyas Iyer

Cricket fans in India have something to cheer about as star batsman Shreyas Iyer is set to participate in the Ranji Trophy after a gap of five years. This exciting news comes ahead of the much-anticipated home Test series against England. Iyer's inclusion in the Mumbai team for the second-round matchup against Andhra Pradesh has raised hopes of his preparation for the upcoming Test matches.

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A Long-Awaited Return

After a hiatus of nearly five years, Shreyas Iyer is finally donning the whites for the Ranji Trophy. The last time he participated in this prestigious domestic tournament was during the 2018-19 season. Since then, the talented right-hand batter has been focusing on limited-overs cricket, representing various teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the national side.

A Challenging South Africa Tour

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Iyer's journey back to the red-ball format hasn't been smooth sailing. During the recent tour of South Africa, he had a rough patch, struggling to find his form. In the two Test matches, he managed scores of 31, 6, 0, and an unbeaten 4. These disappointing performances led to his omission from the Indian T20I team for the series against Afghanistan.

Overcoming Adversity

For Iyer, the road to the Ranji Trophy has been filled with challenges. After suffering a back injury during the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia in February-March, he had to undergo surgery, missing out on crucial tournaments like the 2017 World Test Championship Final and the Caribbean tour. However, he proved his mettle by making a strong comeback during the Asia Cup, playing a pivotal role in India's journey to the 2023 ODI World Cup final.

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A Stellar Performance in the World Cup

Iyer showcased exceptional skills in the 2023 ODI World Cup, emerging as one of India's top performers. With a total of 530 runs in 11 innings, he stood third in terms of highest run-scorers for the team, trailing only Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. His impressive average of 66.25, including two centuries and three half-centuries, solidified his position as a key player in the Indian lineup.

Recognition as Vice Captain

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In December, Iyer's talent and leadership qualities were acknowledged when he was appointed as the vice captain for the final two T20Is against Australia. This recognition not only speaks volumes about his cricketing abilities but also highlights his potential to take on greater responsibilities in the future.

The Importance of the Ranji Trophy

As Iyer returns to the Ranji Trophy, it serves as a crucial stepping stone towards his Test success. The tournament provides a platform for domestic players to showcase their skills and stake a claim for national selection. By participating in this prestigious competition, Iyer has the opportunity to fine-tune his red-ball game and gain valuable match practice ahead of the Test series against England.

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Preparing for the Home Test Series

With the home Test series against England just around the corner, Iyer's inclusion in the Ranji Trophy is well-timed. The match against Andhra Pradesh will allow him to acclimatize to the longer format and iron out any weaknesses in his game. The Sharad Pawar Cricket Academy in BKC will serve as a perfect venue for him to work on his technique and build his confidence before the first Test in Hyderabad on January 25.

Focus on Test Cricket

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While Iyer has made significant contributions in limited-overs cricket, his ultimate goal is to establish himself as a formidable force in Test cricket. With India's middle-order lacking stability in recent times, his return to the red-ball format is eagerly awaited by fans and selectors alike. A successful stint in the Ranji Trophy will not only boost his chances of being selected for the Test series against England but also strengthen his case for a permanent spot in the Test squad.

Conclusion

Shreyas Iyer's return to the Ranji Trophy after a five-year absence marks an important chapter in his cricketing journey. As he gears up to face Andhra Pradesh, he has the opportunity to fine-tune his skills and regain his form ahead of the crucial Test series against England. With his talent, determination, and hunger for success, it is only a matter of time before Iyer cements his place in the Indian Test team and becomes a force to be reckoned with in the longer format of the game.

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